Taiwan yesterday issued a sea warning for Typhoon Parma, which is expected to affect Taiwan after hitting the Philippines.
By 9pm yesterday, the eye of Parma was 420km southeast of Oluanbi (鵝鑾鼻) Taiwan’s southern tip, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said. Moving in a northwesterly direction at 10kph, Parma packs center winds of 137kph and gusts of 173kph.
“Typhoon Parma will be very close to Taiwan on Monday — it could make landfall on southern Pingtung County late on Sunday or early Monday morning,” CWB forecaster Hsieh Ming-chang (謝明昌) said. “It may be dragged to the northeast by nearby Typhoon Melor on Tuesday, but we’ll have to keep an eye on it.”
If Typhoon Parma is dragged away by Typhoon Melor, which is moving parallel to Parma to its north and is headed toward Japan, its impact on Taiwan would be reduced.
However, torrential rain could still be seen in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, Hsieh said.
With Typhoon Parma forecast to bring heavy rains, creating the danger of mudslides, military personnel and police began evacuating villagers in high-risk regions in Kaohsiung County yesterday.
With military assistance, more than 1,000 people living in mountainous regions in Nantou, Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties were evacuated yesterday.
Although it was sunny yesterday morning in Liouguei Township (六龜), Kaohsiung County, residents in six villages — Laonong (荖濃), Baolai (寶來), Sinfa (新發), Singlong (興隆), Dajin (大津) and Jhongsing (中興) — that were hit by mudslides triggered by Typhoon Morakot in early August had already packed their luggage and were lining up to board military trucks to leave their homes.
“Roads connecting these villages to the outside were seriously damaged by Typhoon Morakot back in August and have not yet been fully repaired,” Liouguei Township Mayor Lin Chun-chieh (林俊傑) told reporters. “So we’ve decided to evacuate the villagers before Typhoon Parma hits Taiwan to prevent them from being isolated again.”
Liouguei residents took shelter at a nearby Taoist temple where staff had prepared dozens of boxes of moon cakes to welcome them.
In Shenmu Village (神木) in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義), firefighters drove around the village using loudspeakers to urge people to evacuate while they could.
As of press time yesterday, more than 250 people from Shenmu Village had moved to safer locations.
In Pingtung, eviction orders have been issued for Dawu (大武) and Laiyi (來義) townships. Also in Kaohsiung County, residents from eight villages in Taoyuan Township (桃源) — which was also hit hard by Morakot — were evacuated by army helicopters to the Republic of China Military Academy in Kaohsiung County’s Fongshan City (鳳山).
Deputy Minister of National Defense Huang Yi-bing (黃奕炳) said yesterday that the ministry had dispatched a total of 34,584 military personnel for disaster prevention and rescue should the need arise.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JIMMY CHUANG