Photo of the Day: 'Angel's Tear' drying up in southern Taiwan

'Angel's Tear' in Taitung County's Haiduan Township has dropped to 60% of normal size due to drought conditions

"Angel's Tear" is drying up.

"Angel's Tear" is drying up. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Jiaming Lake (嘉明湖), commonly referred to as "Angel's Tear," or what the Bunun Tribe call the "Moon's Mirror," has been shrinking lately due to drought conditions.

Jiaming Lake, located in Haiduan Township (海端鄉), Taitung County, is the second highest lake in Taiwan. It is a renowned alpine lake, which is traditionally referred as "Angel's Tear" due to the deep sapphire color of the lake.

However, as the heavy plum rains that usually come in the spring have failed to materialize, the lake is down to 60 percent of its normal level. In May, the lake was down to 50 percent, but due to rains over the past few days, it has risen slightly to its current level, according to Chiu Kuan-chung (邱冠中), an alpine association coordinator, who spoke to CNA.

Lake when it closer to capacity. (CNA image)

Chiu says it usually takes a typhoon or two days of heavy downpours to refill the lake. There are no streams or springs that feed the lake, therefore it relies entirely on rainfall to be replenished.

According to data from the Central Weather Bureau, the Siangyang National Forest Recreation Area saw 3,896 millimeters of rain rain 2016, and 4,828 millimeters fell in 2017, but only 709 millimeters have fallen as of June of this year.

Indigenous woman posing in front of the lake. (CNA image)

Park officials advise hikers to bring their own water when visiting the lake and to never drink from the lake as wild animals frequent the area and they cannot guarantee the safety of the lake for human consumption. The lake is 120 meters long, 80 meters wide and about 35 meters deep.

For information regarding the trail, please visit the trail website or the Taiwan Forest Recreation website. For information regarding cabin permits and entry permits, please call the TFDO at 089-324121, ext. 705, 713, or 715 during office hours.