2 drown, 1 miss­ing as Soude­lor ar­rives

The China Post - - LOCAL -

An 8- year- old girl who was swept out to sea on a beach in Yi­lan County on Thurs­day was still miss­ing as of Fri­day af­ter­noon de­spite res­cue at­tempts by emer­gency work­ers ear­lier in the day, the Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter (CEOC) said.

The Coast Guard unit based in Suao Town­ship said its boats were sent out at 6 a.m. but re­called be­cause of high winds and rough seas.

The girl’s twin sis­ter and their mother died af­ter the three of them and another 8-year-old girl who sur­vived were taken from shal­low wa­ters on Suao Town­ship’s Neipi beach by swells that may have been caused by the ap­proach­ing Typhoon Soude­lor, ac­cord­ing to author­i­ties.

The sur­viv­ing girl man­aged to stay alive by cling­ing to the body of the twins’ mother be­fore they were plucked from the wa­ter, res­cue work­ers said.

Ex­perts warned of the false sense of se­cu­rity that peo­ple can feel when play­ing in dan­ger­ous coastal ar­eas in Eastern Tai­wan.

Clear weather be­fore a typhoon of­ten causes peo­ple to un­der­es­ti­mate the power of swells, or long un­bro­ken waves, Chao Tsai-sheng, Na­tional Taitung Univer­sity’s Depart­ment of So­mat­ics and Sport Leisure In­dus­try, was quoted as say­ing in Ap­ple Daily, a lo­cal news­pa­per.

Typhoon Soude­lor re­mains on course to run di­rectly into Tai­wan and was ex­pected to make land­fall in Eastern Tai­wan early Satur­day.

Peo­ple Warned Against

Wave Watch­ing

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- jeou on Fri­day di­rected law en­force­ment author­i­ties and the Coast Guard to keep peo­ple from wave watch­ing along Tai­wan’s shores as Typhoon Soude­lor ap­proaches.

If nec­es­sary, peo­ple will be forced to leave shore ar­eas for their own safety, Ma said dur­ing a visit to the Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter.

The pres­i­dent said the typhoon has a solid struc­ture and is ex­pected to bring strong winds and heavy rains.

Ar­eas in Cen­tral, South­ern and Eastern Tai­wan have be­gun pre­cau­tion­ary evac­u­a­tions in prepa­ra­tion for the storm, he said.

Dur­ing a tele­con­fer­ence with lo­cal gov­ern­ment chiefs, Ma paid spe­cial at­ten­tion to the sit­u­a­tion along Tai­wan’s coasts and pos­si­ble mud­slides in moun­tain­ous ar­eas.

Yi­lan County Mag­is­trate Lin Tsung-hsien said most of the rain­fall will prob­a­bly be seen in moun­tain­ous ar­eas, and he ex­pected his county to be­gin evac­u­at­ing peo­ple from ar­eas vul­ner­a­ble to dis­as­ter at 3 p.m.

Hualien County Mag­is­trate Fu Kun-chi said it was hard to pre­dict how much dam­age the typhoon will cause, but he hoped that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will pro­vide aid to af­fected house­holds to cover the costs of post-dis­as­ter re­con­struc­tion and agri­cul­tural losses.

Taitung County Mag­is­trate Justin Huang said, mean­while, that his county has de­cided to sus­pend its Hot Air Bal­loon Fes­ti­val and will pay close at­ten­tion to the county’s coast­line.


(Above) Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials seal off a sec­tion of the Suhua High­way in Yi­lan, yesterday. The block­age was com­pleted by 6 p.m. Suhua High­way runs along the east coast, where land­slides oc­cur more of­ten, es­pe­cially af­ter heavy rain­fall. (Right) A worker re­moves an iron rooftop blown away by strong wind from elec­tri­cal lines in New Taipei City, yesterday. Although Typhoon Soude­lor did not make its land­ing un­til last night, its strong wind and ac­com­pa­ny­ing showers be­gan in the af­ter­noon.

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