President inspects Central Emergency Operation Center

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) inspected the Central Emergency Operation Center Thursday, a day after Typhoon Meranti devastated southern Taiwan, leaving one person dead and 51 injured.

After being briefed about the aftermath of the typhoon, Tsai thanked soldiers and government workers for evacuating residents to safety, performing clean-up operations and helping restore water and power supplies.

She cautioned that another typhoon, Malakas, could affect Taiwan in the coming days and said people should not let their guard down.

The Central Weather Bureau said a sea warning could be issued at 11:30 p.m. Thursday for Typhoon Malakas, which was located some 1,000 kilometers southeast of the southernmost tip of Taiwan as of 2 p.m. and moving toward the country.

Meanwhile, even though Typhoon Meranti has moved away from Taiwan, its periphery could still affect the country, bringing heavy rain to southern and eastern Taiwan, the bureau said.

As the Mid-Autumn Festival is on Thursday, Tsai also distributed mooncakes, which are traditionally eaten during the festival, to the personnel at the center.

The president was expected to inspect disaster areas in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County later in the day, while Premier Lin Chuan (??) will visit disaster areas in Kaohsiung.

Agricultural losses from Typhoon Meranti have reached close to NT$100 million (US$3.15 million), with Kaohsiung suffering the heaviest losses, estimated at NT$51 million, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

A total of 1,630 metric tons of vegetables were sold at the Taipei fruit and vegetable wholesale market Thursday, down by 24.2 percent from a day earlier, according to the ministry. Most, if not all, retail markets are closed Thursday for the holiday.

Meanwhile, the average wholesale vegetable price at the market was NT$39.2 per kilogram Thursday, an increase of 8.3 percent from the previous day, the ministry said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel