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30,000 troops placed on standby for tropical storm Danas: MND

2019/07/17 18:27:31

Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense (MND)

Taipei, July 17 (CNA) The military has placed more than 30,000 troops on standby for disaster response and relief operations as tropical storm Danas approaches eastern and southern Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday.

The MND set up a disaster response center around noon Wednesday, which will coordinate with the Central Emergency Operation Center, after Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) convened a disaster preparedness meeting with command officers at which he stressed the importance of preventive evacuation in high risk areas.

To prepare for the impact of Danas, the Suao logistic support command of the R.O.C. Navy has deployed manpower and equipment to strategic locations, the MND said in a statement.

Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) ordered all units of the armed forces to closely monitor the movement of Danas, with 31,000 soldiers and more than 4,500 military vehicles and equipment, including generators and water pumps, on standby.

The MND noted that 1,800 troops from the marines and special forces have already been deployed to 99 landslide and flood-prone areas, together with amphibious vehicles and rubber dinghies, to facilitate immediate rescue operations.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has issued a land and sea warning for Danas. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the tropical storm is located 370km southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip, moving northwest at a speed of 17km per hour, threatening southern and eastern Taiwan.

Danas, with a radius of 150 kilometers, is packing maximum sustained winds of 65kph with gusts of up to 90kph, according to the CWB.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is currently on a visit to Taiwan's four Caribbean allies, said on her Facebook page on Wednesday that she had called Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to keep track of the typhoon's movements and the government's preparedness.

"Our armed forces, related government units and local governments are well-prepared," Tsai said, while urging the public to remain calm.

Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense (MND)

(By Emerson Lim)
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