Want China Times
Considered the strongest tropical storm to have hit Taiwan in years, Typhoon Soudelor
swept across the island at the weekend leaving enormous damage in its wake, including some NT$700 million (US$21.64 million) of agricultural losses in the run-up to the harvest season for many fruits, including bananas, guavas and pomelos. The case of the latter reflects a failing on the part of Taiwan’s meteorologists, who should have urged farmers to harvest their fruit earlier.
Meteorological satellites showed the typhoon forming in the Pacific near the Marshall Islands, some 4,000 kilometers away from Taiwan, on July 30. The Central Weather Bureau waited 10 days before alerting local people by issuing a sea typhoon warning on Aug. 6, which prompted farmers to rush to harvest their near-ripe fruit, but the warning came too late.
Despite its early detection capability thanks to its grasp of information on El Nino, tropical oceanic currents and high sea temperature on Taiwan’s eastern coast, the Central Weather Bureau could not alert local farmers and enterprises early on as it is legally constrained to providing meteorological information to safeguard the security of people’s lives and properties, rather than value-added information for industrial use. Nor is there a local meteorological firm that could provide such a custom service such as those available in other countries. [FULL STORY]