Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Tropical Storm Pabuk lashes south

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung Harbor is pictured at sunset yesterday as Tropical Storm Pabuk approached.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

A land warning for Tropical Storm Pabuk issued yesterday is likely to be canceled by noon today as the storm sweeps across southern Taiwan and enter the Taiwan Strait, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

At 9:15pm yesterday the bureau said Pabuk was 80km east of Hengchun Peninsula (恆春), with a radius of 150km, moving west at 23kph. It was packing maximum gusts of 126kph.

The bureau forecast that Pabuk would make landfall in Hengchun in the early hours of today.

By 6pm last night, Ilan County was out of the storm's influence. Hualien and some counties in central and southern Taiwan would be affected by the storm until this morning, the bureau said.

By yesterday, Hualien had received between 250mm and 300mm of rain.

The Taitung County Government said that schools and government offices would be closed today.

The storm's approach disrupted travel plans yesterday, forcing the closure of airports on Lanyu (蘭嶼), at Taitung and on Green Island. Around 2,000 tourists on or near Green Island had to return to Taiwan proper yesterday morning.

Some of this morning's flights on Daily Air to Penghu, Lanyu and Green Island have been canceled. Eva Air's charter flights this morning from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Kaohsiung Airport, as well as those between Kaohsiung and Macau, have been canceled.

Far Eastern Air Transport Corp said that flights from Taipei to Kaohsiung, Tainan and Penghu, and those between Kaohsiung and Hualien this morning would be suspended, while afternoon flights between Taipei and Kinmen might be subject to change.

Boats trips today between Kinmen and China have also been canceled.

Meanwhile, a more forceful tropical storm may be coming hot on Pabuk's heels.

Meteorologists said an active low pressure system, which has not yet been named, is about 540km east of the Philippine island of Luzon.

Additional reporting by CNA

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