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Whale deaths could be related to decompression sickness: specialist

2016/10/15 23:09:47

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) A total of 12 whales have died over the past 16 days in Taiwan and the outlying island of Kinmen, the Taiwan Cetacean Society said Saturday.

Kuo Hsiang-sha (郭祥廈) said the society has tentatively ruled that the latest death -- a 800-kilogram whale in Kinmen -- was due to decompression sickness, caused by a sudden change in water pressure.

Kuo noted that there have been 12 cases of whales dying after being grounded in Yilan, Hualien, New Taipei, Pingtung, Taoyuan and Kinmen between Sept. 28 and Oct. 13.

He said that whales often surge upwards because of earthquakes, explosions or due to panic caused by such events.

This many deaths in such a short period could be because of the recent spate of typhoons, he speculated.

(By Amy Huang and Lilian Wu)