Ships off southern coast warned to monitor storm

Hsieh Kuo-lien, The China Post

Crews aboard ships operating off Taiwan’s southern coast are warned to take special precautions against tropical storm Yutu. The Central Weather Bureau said at 810 p.m. yesterday that Yutu storm’s center, which was located to the north of the Philippines, was only 230 kilometers south of Taiwan’s southern township of Oluanpi. With a 150-kilometer radius, Yutu is packing maximum winds of 18 meters per second with gusts of up to 25 meters per second. Meteorologists with the bureau said the storm is expected to be located around 430 kilometers west of Oluanpi at 8 p.m. today. They predict that Yutu, moving in a westerly direction at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour, will turn to move in a west-northwesterly direction.

Yutu poses a major threat to Bashi Channel, southern part of the Taiwan Strait and the waters around the remote Tungsha Island, while crews aboard vessels operating in the dangerous waters are warned to concern about unmerciful weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the bureau said the outer rims of the tropical storm would bring torrential rainfall to southern, eastern and northeastern parts of Taiwan. Residents living in mountainous areas were warned to monitor possible landslides that could be triggered by the heavy rainfall, while those in flood-prone areas should also be vigilant about the downpours.