Cablegate: Taiwan: Late-Season Typhoon Strikes Taiwan
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS TAIPEI 003360
STATE PLEASE PASS TO AIT/W AND EAP/RSP/TC
STATE PLEASE ALSO PASS TO USEPA/OIA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT SENV ECON KSCA KPAO TW
SUBJECT: TAIWAN: LATE-SEASON TYPHOON STRIKES TAIWAN
1. Summary. Typhoon Nock-ten struck Taiwan's northeast on
October 25. Nock-ten moved more swiftly than July's Typhoon
Mindulle and August's Aere and caused less damage.
Nevertheless, four people were killed, one remains missing,
and more than 100 were injured. Taipei was one of the
hardest hit areas. Schools and offices in Taipei and some
eastern cities were closed, and financial markets were shut
down for one day. 380,000 households lost power, but
service was restored quickly to most. Taiwan's Council on
Agriculture estimates total agricultural losses to be USD
8.75 million. End summary.
Strong Winds and Floods
2. Gusting winds and torrential rains battered northern
Taiwan as Typhoon Nock-ten struck the island on October 25.
The fast-moving storm spent most of a day working its way up
Taiwan's eastern coast to the capital Taipei, disrupting
road and air traffic. Hardest hit was the northeast, where
Keelung harbor was temporarily closed and many flights in
and out of Taipei were canceled. Schools and offices in
Taipei and some eastern cities were closed. Financial
markets were also shut down for one day. Sandbags were
piled at the entrances to Taipei's subway system to prevent
flooding. However, as the Typhoon moved swiftly over the
island its influence quickly dissipated. Although the
powerful winds flipped over a truck on the highway,
officials said that precipitation was much less than
3. The Taiwan government's Flood Disaster Relief Center
announced on October 26 that Typhoon Nock-ten had resulted
in a total of four deaths, one missing and 100 injuries.
Among the four deaths, three people were killed in flash
floods, including a TV reporter and a rescue worker who were
swept away by raging waters. Typhoon Nock-ten was the 24th
typhoon reported in the Pacific Ocean this year. Taiwan's
death toll this year so far due to Typhoons stands at 53
people. An additional, 30 people are still listed missing.
Nock-ten formed particularly late in the season. Taiwan's
Central Weather Bureau officials said that the last typhoon
to strike Taiwan this late in the year occurred in 1959.
Power and Water Disruption
4. On October 25, about 380,000 households in Taiwan lost
electricity, but power was quickly restored to most. By the
evening of October 26, only 28,000 households were still
without power. The state-owned Taiwan Power Company
indicated that all service should be restored by October 27.
High turbidity levels disrupted water supplies after the
last two typhoons. However, the Water Resources Agency
stated that this storm did not affect reservoirs. Water
turbidity levels are within the acceptable range, and water
supplies are operating normally.
Agricultural and Economic Impact
7. The Council of Agriculture estimated on October 26 that
the total damage to the agricultural sectors was NTD 295.9
million (about USD 8.75 million), but those figures may be
revised upwards. Rice, leafy vegetables and various
seasonal fruits were the hardest hit. Despite the losses,
agricultural officials said most supplies should not be
affected since the fast-moving storm missed the central and
southern parts of Taiwan where the majority of the island's
vegetables are grown. Because electricity and water
supplies were not badly disrupted, industrial losses were