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Typhoon Sepat causes heavy agriculture losses in Taiwan
2007-08-19 00:15:27 Xinhua English

BEIJING. Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Sepat, lashed Taiwan with strong winds and torrential rain on Saturday, has caused heavy losses of Taiwan's agricultural sector, Taiwan's local media reported here Sunday.

The total value of Taiwan's agricultural products affected by Sepat has reached 830 million New Taiwan Dollars (25 million U.S. dollars) and the losses triggered market worries of increasing prices farm produce.

Hualian, the prime growing areas for pomelos, has reported great losses of the fruit. Over 90 percent of pomelos in Hualian's Hegang has been destroyed by the typhoon, leaving estimated losses of 200 million New Taiwan Dollars, the local media said.

"After whole year's work, all my fruits were ruined overnight," a pomelo farmer surnamed Wei was quoted as saying. He said the harvest season for pomelo is only one week ahead.

The heavy losses of pomelo in Hualian is expected to affect the supply of the fruit and drive the price high. Local media reports predicted the price of pomelo will be three or five times higher than usual during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Sepat also caused heavy damages to other fruits like bananas, watermelons, cantaloupes and papayas.

The local agricultural authorities estimated the losses of crops reached 680 million New Taiwan Dollars, poultries 72.38 million New Taiwan Dollars, and fish 67.31 million New Taiwan Dollars. Sepat also destroyed agricultural and fishery facilities valued 8.2 million New Taiwan Dollars and 2.5 million New Taiwan Dollars respectively.

Sunday morning, the center of Sepat has moved to the Chinese mainland. But the heavy rains are still pouring in the south to Hsinchu and northeast of Taiwan, according to the local meteorological authorities.

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