The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued a sea alert for Typhoon Tembin, amid signs that the storm could make a second landfall in the Hengchun Peninsula in less than a week.
Tembin first made landfall at Hengchun on Friday, causing the worst flooding in the peninsula in the past century. It moved back over the sea after spending two-and-a-half hours over land and was downgraded to a tropical storm.
However, the bureau warned that Tembin could turn around and come close to southern Taiwan because of the attraction of Typhoon Bolaven over Okinawa.
The Council of Agriculture reported that Tembin’s first landfall caused nationwide agricultural losses of about NT$120 million (US$4 million), with farmers of watermelons, bananas and sugar apples in Hualien and Taitung suffering the most damage.
As of 5:30pm yesterday, the eye of Tembin was 440km off the southwest coast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving east at a speed of 9kph.
Bureau forecaster Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良) said that Tembin strengthened from a tropical storm to a typhoon yesterday morning.
The second sea alert for the typhoon applies to sea areas near Dongsha Island (東山島), the southern Taiwan Strait and Bashi Channel, he added.
Chen said the radius of the storm would come near the land in the south this afternoon, adding that the bureau could issue a second land warning for Tembin this morning.
While Tembin and Bolaven were still about 1,300km apart, Chen said the interaction of these two typhoons would become more obvious after the former moves further eastward.
The interaction, also known as the Fujiwhara effect, occurs when two cyclonic vortices are close to one another. When the two are of unequal sizes, the larger one tends to dominate the interaction and cause the smaller one to orbit around it.
As of 5:30pm, the radius of Tembin had reached 180km while Bolaven’s had expanded to 300km.
The bureau forecast that Bolaven, which was about 750km east of Taipei by 5:30pm yesterday, would move toward South Korea and would not affect Taiwan directly.
Chen said Tembin was likely to accelerate from the influence of guiding airflow and the attraction of Bolaven, adding that the nation would feel the brunt of the typhoon tomorrow and on Wednesday.
Based on the potential track forecast by the bureau, Tembin could make a second landfall in the Hengchun Peninsula, the southwestern or southeastern regions, before moving along the nation’s east coast in a northerly direction. Chances of rain are high today because of the typhoon’s circumfluence, Chen said.
Meanwhile, the military said it would mobilize thousands of servicemen and dozens of military vehicles to continue cleaning up the areas in eastern and southern Taiwan that were battered by Tembin.
More than 2,400 soldiers, 70 military vehicles and eight water pumps will be sent to help residents in Pingtung, Hualien and Taitung counties to clean up the flooded areas, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.
Over the past few days, the military has helped evacuate 4,560 residents from disaster-prone areas and has also removed 5 tonnes of mud from the streets, the statement said.