Bloomberg News

Taiwan Shuts Central, Southern Areas as Storm Approaches

June 20, 2012

Taiwan’s capital Taipei and northern areas including Taoyuan and Keelung were told to shut schools and businesses tonight as Tropical Storm Talim approaches.

Central and southern regions, including the cities of Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, shut businesses earlier today as sea and land warnings were issued and industrial parks put on alert. Financial markets remained open as Talim approached from the southwest.

Hsinchu City and County, home to technology and electronics companies such as chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330) and panel producer AU Optronics Corp. (2409), also announced closures in the afternoon. The Central Weather Bureau warned of heavy rain and possible landslides across most of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Cabinet told the economics ministry to accelerate the setting up of pumping stations while the Taipei City government shut access to riverside car parks and closed its Maokong tourist gondola as the weather bureau estimated the rainfall through Friday may exceed 1,500 millimeters (59 inches). Science park administrators set up emergency response and relief centers, advising tenants to beware of flooding and possible power shortages.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (6505), Taiwan’s only publicly traded refiner, has halted its No. 2 and No. 3 naphtha crackers because of an electricity outage at its Mailiao complex in central Taiwan, Chairman Chen Bao-lang said by phone today.

More than 4,000 people in 10 areas have been evacuated amid risks of mudslides as of 11 a.m., the Central Emergency Operation Center said on its website.

Talim, with sustained winds of as strong as 83 kilometers per hour (52 miles per hour) gusting to 108 kilometers per hour, was centered 70 kilometers northwest of the outlying island of Penghu and heading northeast at 39 kilometers to 42 kilometers per hour as of 2:30 p.m. local time today, the Central Weather Bureau said on its website. The Taoyuan District in southern Kaohsiung city had the most rainfall of 461 millimeters in the last two days, it said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net; Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Turk at gturk2@bloomberg.net; Bruce Grant at bruceg@bloomberg.net


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