Taiwan to use mobile radars against typhoons
Taiwan will employ mobile radars and a network of satellites to improve predictions of typhoons, floods and other extreme weather phenomena, an official said Wednesday.
It is hoped the new equipment will prevent disasters such as a landslide last year that killed nearly two dozen people, most of them Chinese tourists.
"We're concerned because we're seeing more extreme weather," said Ho Hsin-ya, spokesman of the newly established Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute.
"What this means is we're experiencing large amounts of rainfall dumped on Taiwan within short periods of time. It's indeed a great danger to the island."
The mobile radars, designed to detect sudden heavy rainfall within a 50-kilometre (30-mile) radius, will enable authorities to take localised action, such as deciding if a specific bridge should be closed down.
The institute also plans to use data from a series of weather satellites which will be jointly launched by Taiwan and the United States, the official said, without giving details of when the satellites will become operational.
The government faced complaints last year when a coastal road in northeastern Ilan county collapsed due to a typhoon.
Critics argued the road should have been closed down before landslides took place, killing 23 people.
(c) 2011 AFP