Several mountains in northern and central Taiwan yesterday had their first snow of the winter amid a cold wave, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.
Lalashan (拉拉山) in Taoyuan, which ranges from 1,500m to 2,130m in altitude, had its first snowfall of the season at about 6am, the city’s tourism office said.
The Lalashan Forest Reserve (拉拉山自然保護區), home to more than 120 Formosan cypresses estimated to be more than 500 years old, was also covered with snow.
Snow started falling on the 3,416m Hehuanshan (合歡山) on the border of Nantou and Hualien counties at 4am to 5am, attracting crowds keen to enjoy the winter scenery, the bureau said.
According to the weather observatory station on the mountain’s peak, temperatures in the Hehuanshan area were minus-0.1°C to minus-1.2°C for the rest of the day, with 2cm of snow having fallen.
Snow also fell on Taipei’s 1,120m Yangmingshan (陽明山) after 6am, police said.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Meanwhile, more than 3cm of snow fell on the 1,900m Taipingshan (太平山) in Yilan County on Thursday night and yesterday morning.
Vehicles started arriving outside the main gate to the Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區) at 8pm the previous evening, in a bid to be the first to see the snow after the area opened at 6:40am.
As a result, there was a 6km traffic backup in the area at about 8am.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Tourists who entered the park early built snowmen and enjoyed the snow-covered landscape.
However, traffic controls were imposed at noon, forbidding visitors from going to higher peaks in the area, said the Luodong Forest District Office, which manages the area.
With the arrival of the cold front, temperatures below 10°C are possible across Taiwan until today, with cold advisories issued for cities and counties nationwide, the CWB said.
At least 19 people have died from cardiac arrest since Thursday night, possibly as a result of the cold wave, municipal fire department reports showed.
Taipei and Keelung fire departments said that five older residents died of heart attacks in the two jurisdictions as of 10am yesterday, but added that a correlation between the deaths and the drop in temperature had yet to be determined.
The New Taipei City Fire Department said that six people died of cardiovascular events, which were believed to be related to cold weather between midnight and noon yesterday, including two males in their 40s.
As cold weather is expected to persist into next week, people should be mindful of staying warm, especially those with seniors, children or people with chronic conditions in their homes, the department said.
As of press time, four nonviolent deaths had been recorded in Taipei, one in Keelung, six in New Taipei City, two in Taoyuan, one in Taichung, one in Yulin City and two in Nantou County.
Additional reporting by Chiu Chun-fu, Wu Jen-chieh, Lin Chia-tung and Chang Jui-chen
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