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Typhoon Meranti Destroys Big Mushroom

taiwan-big-mushroom

Typhoon Meranti was the strongest super-typhoon in 21 years to hit Taiwan, and one of its casualties was a popular dive site near Green Island known simply as “Big Mushroom”. This 10m-high mushroom-shaped pore coral tower – a landmark for divers from around the world – stood no chance against the mighty force of Meranti.

The “Big Mushroom” is at least 1,000 years old and has grown on the 18-metre-deep seabed since the Song Dynasty, and was named as one of the top 20 iconic dive sites in Asia by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Today, it lies toppled on the seabed.

The typhoon didn’t just destroy one of the biggest coral towers in the world – it wreaked havoc along the southeast coast of Taiwan before moving onto eastern China. Of the areas most affected on the east coast was Green Island and nearby Orchid Island – both still effectively cut off from the nearby city of Taitung on the mainland, as its ferry port was also heavily affected by debris in the harbour.

Officials feared the increase in extreme weather could cause more damage to marine life, as well as to tourism – right after Typhoon Meranti came Typhoon Malakas, and according to the weather bureau, the typhoon season still isn’t over.

 

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