Heavy rain alert issued for 16 counties, cities in Taiwan as tropical depression nears

Heavy and extremely heavy rain advisory issued for 16 counties, cities in Taiwan as tropical depression barrels in from the south

Possible paths of storm. (Map from Wu Sheng-yu Facebook page)

Possible paths of storm. (Map from Wu Sheng-yu Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Heavy rain and extremely heavy rain advisories have been issued for 16 counties an cities in Taiwan by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) as a tropical depression barrels toward southern Taiwan.

As of 2 a.m. this morning, a tropical depression was located about 130 kilometers northwest of Eluanbi and was moving at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour. As there is not a great deal of open sea left for the tropical depression to develop into a tropical storm or typhoon, however the CWB cannot rule this out entirely and will issue sea and land warnings if it does.

The CWB predicts that the tropical depression, which is slowly approaching Taiwan's southwest coast, could make landfall this morning in Kaohsiung or Pingtung. As the tropical depression arrives, the rainfall will be heaviest in central and southern Taiwan, while the weather will be unstable across Taiwan proper.

The CWB has issued a heavy rain advisory for New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Yilan County, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Taichung city, Hualien County, Changhua County and Yunlin County. An extremely heavy rain advisory has been issued for Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Taitung County and Pingtung County.

CWB radar map showing tropical depression barreling in from the south.

The CWB predicts that there will be heavy or torrential rain in Tainan and areas south as well as eastern Taiwan. Central Taiwan can also expect bursts of heavy or torrential rain, while in the afternoon Nantou and Chiayi will also likely see heavy rain.

Mountainous areas of Yilan, Hualien, Miaoli and mountainous areas to the north have a high probability of heavy rain showers. Residents are advised to beware of sudden downpours, lightning strikes, strong wind gusts, landslides, rockfalls and flooding in low-lying areas.

Wu Sheng-yu (吳聖宇), a weather analyst with WeatherRisk Explore Inc., said that in addition to heavy rain southern and central Taiwan, the tropical depression could drive north and bring heavy rain to northern Taiwan starting from the afternoon and into the night. Wu advised all residents of Taiwan to be vigilant for heavy rain and strong winds.

CWB satellite image showing tropical depression menacing southern Taiwan.