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Taiwan puts troops on standby amid storm warning
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Aug 28, 2013


Tropical storm lashes Mexico Pacific coast, kills one
La Paz, Mexico (AFP) Aug 29, 2013 - Tropical Storm Juliette whipped tourist resorts on Mexico's Pacific coast on Thursday, downing trees, forcing hundreds to take shelter and killing at least one person.

A man was electrocuted after powerful winds brought down power lines in the tourist resort town of Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, said local civil protection director Wenceslao Petit Jacinto.

More than 1,250 people took refuge in shelters while nearly 5,000 households were without power across the state of Baja California Sur.

Classes were canceled for the day while the ports of Los Cabos and La Paz were closed to small boats.

The storm was weakening as it moved along the coastline, packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour), according to the US National Hurricane Center's 1500 GMT public advisory.

Juliette is the tenth named storm of the season this year in the Pacific. An Atlantic storm killed 14 people this week in southeastern Mexico.

Taiwan put tens of thousands of troops on standby and shut schools and offices in an offshore island Wednesday as weather forecasters warned of torrential rain from Tropical Storm Kong-Rey.

"Due to the storm, the mountainous areas in the centre and south are forecast to have a large amount of rainfall from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday," the Central Weather Bureau said in a statement.

As the storm also brought fierce winds, the government of Orchid Island, a popular scenic spot off the southeastern coast, decided to close schools and offices.

Flights and ferries to and from the small island were also suspended, the local government said.

Although the storm was not likely to make landfall, the military stepped up its preparations and ordered more than 47,000 troops to be on standby.

As of 0630 GMT, the storm was 190 kilometres (120 miles) east of the island's southern tip, the bureau said.

Packing gusts of 119 kilometres per hour, up from 109 kilometres recorded the previous day, Kong-Rey was moving north at 15 kilometres per hour, it said.

Tropical Storm Trami hit Taiwan last week, forcing authorities to close offices and cancel nearly 200 international flights.

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