Residents in southern Taiwan braced themselves from another potential onslaught from Typhoon Tembin, which could make landfall in the Hengchun Peninsula this morning, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau issued a land warning for Tembin at 2:30am yesterday after the typhoon picked up speed as it headed south. Residents in Pingtung, Greater Kaohsiung, Greater Tainan, Taitung, Hualien, Yilan, Chiayi, Yunlin, Changhua, Greater Taichung, Nantou, Hsinchu and Miaoli, as well as the outlying islands of Penghu, Green Island and Orchid Island, were all placed under alert.
A sea alert applied to all coastal areas, the bureau said, including the north.
As of 5:30pm yesterday, the eye of Tembin was 210km southwest of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). The storm was moving northeast at 17kph and could accelerate to 20kph, the bureau said.
The Pingtung County Government canceled all classes and government services last night amid warnings of strong winds and torrential rain.
Residents in Hengchun (恆春) and Checheng (車城) townships in Pingtung County had just finished cleaning and disinfection with assistance from the military after Tembin first hit the area last week, causing the worst flooding in a century.
Fearing the township might be flooded again, Hengchun residents asked for 6,000 sandbags.
Hengchun Mayor Yeh Ming-shun (葉明順) said the town usually keeps about 600 sandbags in storage for emergency purposes.
Nearly half of the houses in Dawu Township (大武) in Taitung were also damaged by Tembin last week. Most of the damaged houses and public infrastructure have yet to be fixed.
“We can do nothing about the weather,” a man surnamed Huang (黃), a resident of Dawu, said in an interview with a TV news reporter. “We can do nothing about the flooding either. This is our fate.”
Some of the tourists visiting Green Island have been stranded since Tembin first struck, either because shipping services between Taitung and Green Island were canceled or because they were still on the waiting list.
Bureau forecaster Wu Wan-hua (伍婉華) said that the center of Tembin would come close to the southwestern coast early this morning. People living in low-lying areas in the southwestern region and Hengchun Peninsula, as well as in Siaoliouchiou (小琉球), must beware of the danger of saltwater intrusion, she said.
The bureau forecast that Tembin would continue to affect the nation until tomorrow morning. Residents in the east and north would see heavier rainfall as the typhoon moves along the east coast and continues to move north. Chances for extremely torrential rainfall are high in Pingtung, Taitung, Greater Kaohsiung and Hualien. People in Greater Tainan, Yilan, Chiayi, Yulin, Nantou and Greater Taichung would also see torrential rainfall.
The rest of the nation could see heavy rainfall due to the circumfluence of Tembin, the bureau said.