Typhoon Soulik has been upgraded to a “strong” typhoon and could start affecting the nation today, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau said it is scheduled to issue a sea alert for the typhoon this morning and a land alert this evening.
As of 5pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,460km east of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). Soulik was moving northwest at 23kph, with a maximum wind speed of 184kph and gusts reaching 227kph.
The radius of the storm had expanded to 280km.
The potential threat from the typhoon led the New Taipei City (新北市) Government to announce yesterday that all performances at the Ho- Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival (貢寮國際海洋音樂祭) in Gongliao (貢寮), which was scheduled to run from today until Sunday, would have to be rescheduled.
The annual rock festival, held at Fulong Beach, features an international lineup of artists from Russia, the US, Australia and Japan, as well as local indie bands
To show Soulik’s solid structure, forecast center director Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) posted a photograph of the typhoon taken from a satellite on his Facebook page.
He said that not only does the typhoon have an eye that is clear to see, but the eye also contains two small spirals.
Clouds around the eye of the typhoon are also close to a perfect circle, which means that the typhoon is quite a strong one, Cheng said.
The bureau said the typhoon could cause floods along the Tamsui River if the center of the storm passes through the sea area between Keelung and Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼).
However, it did not rule out the possibility that the typhoon’s center could make a landfall along the northeast coast.
The Directorate-General of Highways said people should avoid driving on several mountain highways when the nation is affected by the typhoon, including the North Cross Highway (Highway No. 7) and its branch highway, the Central Cross Highway (Highway No. 8), Suhua Highway (Highway No. 9) and Puwu Highway (Freeway No. 14).
Additional reporting by CNA