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Effects of slow-moving Typhoon Tembin may be delayed

2012/08/22 19:22:35

Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) Typhoon Tembin has barely moved its position Wednesday, which means its influence on Taiwan is expected to be postponed until later Thursday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

As of 5 p.m., Tembin was located 320 kilometers east of Taitung County in eastern Taiwan, moving at a speed of 6 km per hour in a west-northwesterly direction.

It was packing sustained winds of 144 kph, with gusts reaching 180 kph, the bureau said.

Due to Tembin's slow pace, the timing of its landfall has been delayed from late Thursday to early Friday, according to the bureau.

The typhoon may continue to strengthen as it lingers at sea, the bureau said, adding however that its growth was not likely to be great.

Meanwhile, as Tembin and Typhoon Bolaven are located some 1,500 km from each other, there are currently no signs that they will interact with each other, the bureau said.

However, the bureau did not rule out the possibility that the two storms will get closer to each other after Friday.

Also Wednesday, the Ministry of National Defense said that it has helped evacuate hundreds of residents in disaster-prone areas in the eastern county of Hualien to safety, and has accommodated nearly 200 residents in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, at a military base.

More than 49,000 soldiers are on standby to provide relief and rescue assistance, and 107 military bases around the island are ready to shelter up to 53,272 evacuees, the ministry said.

Other safety measures taken ahead of Tembin's arrival include the closure of 11 forest recreation areas and Suhua Highway, which links Suao in Yilan County with Hualien.

Moreover, farmers and fishermen across the island have been collecting produce such as pomelos, watermelons, day lilies and oysters ahead of Tembin's landfall.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin and Elaine Hou)
ENDITEM/npw