After Drought, Taiwan Prepares for Deluge

The Central Weather Bureau has warned that a Meiyu front will begin to affect Taiwan, bringing heavy rain starting in the southern counties tomorrow, and gradually moving north and intensifying. The front will affect the whole island until at least Sunday.

The Meiyu front is expected to be the first significant rainfall of the East Asian rainy season, called “plum rain” in Chinese and Japanese.

Plum rain usually begins in May, but this year’s late arrival has caused reservoir levels to plummet, leading to water restrictions in southern counties, and concerns that this year could see an “empty plum,” leaving Taiwan dependent on unpredictable typhoons to raise water levels.

Minister of Defense, Yen Teh-fa, took leave from the Legislative Yuan today and headed south to inspect troops, vehicles, and disaster relief equipment to ensure that disaster prevention and relief preparedness is in order.

The Southern Region Water Resources Office reported that with the Zengwen Reservoir at just 3.27% storage capacity, Mudan Reservoir at 29.22%, and Agongdian Reservoir at 9.15%, there is adequate storage capacity for storing floodwater.

In New Taipei City, where rain is expected to begin from tomorrow evening, Mayor Eric Chu advised municipal government agencies and district officers to strengthen disaster prevention measures such as clearing drainage ditches, inspect disaster recovery equipment, and pay attention to weather reports and heavy rain warnings issued by the Central Weather Bureau.

Mayor Chu urged the public not to take the Meiyu front lightly and to pay attention to dangers such as flash flooding and rockfalls in mountain districts, and accumulated floodwaters in low-lying areas.

firefighter with rope gun
A firefighter in Hsinchuang District holds a rope gun as staff inspect flood rescue equipment ahead of a rain front due to hit Taiwan beginning June 13, 2018.

Cumulative Rainfall May Reach Typhoon Scale: Meteorologist Warns

Meteorologist Peng Qiming said that the influence of the nearly stationary continental front combining with a southwesterly air current will make the weather very unstable in the next few days with potential torrential rain, lightening, and strong wind gusts. Flooding and other disasters could easily occur that are no less than a typhoon in scale.

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