40 000 troops on standby as extremely heavy rain hits Taiwan, debris flow warnings issued for 214 streams


Extremely heavy and heavy rain warnings are in place in most of Taiwan on Monday, May 20, 2019. Warnings against debris flows were issued for 214 streams. The country's Ministry of National Defence (MND) has placed 39 000 soldiers on standby to help residents deal with potential disasters. 

Extremely heavy rain is falling across Taiwan today, forcing weather authorities to issue extremely heavy and heavy rain warnings throughout the country. Extremely heavy rainfall warning was in effect in northern regions early morning, and later throughout most of the country's south.

MND said Monday morning it had set up a disaster response center in preparation for any rescue and relief operations as a result of the heavy rains and had placed 39 000 soldiers on standby.

The ministry also deployed 22 military units, comprising its 135 special forces at 18 locations prone to landslides and flooding. 2 300 ground vehicles, 11 aircraft and 107 rubber rafts are also on standby, the Focus Taiwan reports.

Warnings against debris flows were issued Monday afternoon for 214 streams, which were expected to spur evacuations in some areas, the paper said in another report.

A red alert was issued for 24 streams in Chiayi County and Kaohsiung, while a yellow warning was issued for 190 waterways mostly in mountainous areas of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu County, Miaoli, Taichung, Nantou, Chiayi County and Kaohsiung.

The city and county governments will begin evacuation of people in the high-risk areas, in accordance with the standard procedure stipulated in the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act.

Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired May 20, 2019

From midnight to 16:50 LT, May 20 (08:50 UTC), Yangmingshan (Taipei City) registered 227.5 mm (8.95 inches), Zhuzihu-2 (Taipei City) 226 mm (8.89 inches) and Guizikeng (Taipei City) 222.5 mm (8.75 inches).

At the time, extremely heavy rain warning was in effect for Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County and parts of Taitung County.

In 72 hours ending 16:50 LT today, Lingxiao (Nantou County) recorded 593 mm (23.3 inches), Xiaoguanshan (Kaohsiung City) 561.5 mm (22.1 inches) and Shizi (Chiayi County) 526.5 mm (20.7 inches).

Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired May 20, 2019


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