The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) last night issued a sea alert for Typhoon Morakot as it approached the east coast.
Morakot was upgraded from a tropical storm to a typhoon last night.
Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良), a CWB division chief, said the radius of the storm has expanded from 100km to 200km.
“The center of the storm is likely to make landfall,” Chen said.
“The nation may be affected by the storm on both Friday and Saturday and if the storm accelerates, it could start affecting us today,” he said.
Chen said that Morakot is the strongest of the storm systems that have formed near Taiwan this year.
Residents of northern and northeastern regions should be very careful because they will be hit by the storm first, he said.
Those in central and southern regions may also be affected by the storm as its radius expands, he said.
By 8pm last night, the eye of Morakot was 950km east of Ilan.
Moving in a westerly direction at 23kph, Morakot was packing center winds of 119kph and gusts of 155kph.
Meanwhile, northern regions received a little relief from a potential drought after heavy rain on Tuesday, increasing the water levels in reservoirs in the Keelung, Taipei and Taoyuan areas.
Shimen Reservoir, for example, received an inflow of 2.4 million cubic meters of water on Tuesday alone.
Weather forecasters in Taiwan and abroad are closely watching Morakot’s movements, but differ on the storm’s trajectory.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is predicting the storm will follow a more northerly path, while the CWB is predicting landfall in northern Ilan County.
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