Wed, Sep 14, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Land alert issued for Typhoon Meranti

CANCELATIONS:Taitung, Pingtung and Penghu counties and Kaohsiung have declared typhoon days, while the TRA has canceled services on several lines

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A workman on the Taitung County coast yesterday arranges reinforcements to protect coastal roadwork from waves whipped up by Typhoon Meranti.

Photo: CNA

A land alert was issued for Typhoon Meranti yesterday morning, just hours after the Central Weather Bureau issued a sea alert late on Monday night, as forecasters urged the public not to underestimate the damage the storm could cause even though the typhoon’s eye is unlikely to make landfall in Taiwan.

The land alert applies to residents of Taitung County, including Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) and Green Island (綠島), Hualien, Pingtung, Nantou, Yunlin, Changhua and Penghu counties and Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi and Taichung.

As of 8:55pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 270km southeast of Pingtung’s Hengchun Township (恆春), moving west at 24kph.

The Taitung County Government yesterday afternoon canceled school and work on Orchid Island and said that all schools and offices in the county would be closed today.

At press time last night, Pingtung, Hualien, Chiayi and Penghu counties and Kaohsiung had announced a typhoon day for today, canceling school and work.

Bureau forecaster Luo Ya-ying (羅雅尹) said Meranti is likely to maintain its strength before it nears southern Taiwan.

Meranti’s strength might weaken slightly after its circumference hits land and it enters the Taiwan Strait, but people in Taitung and on the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) should be on alert for strong winds and high waves and avoid outdoor activities and coastal areas, she said.

Torrential rain is forecast for today in Hualien, Taitung and Pingtung counties, as well as mountainous areas of Kaohsiung and Yilan County, while the chances of extreme torrential rain are high in mountainous areas in Hualien and Taitung, she said.

It is estimated that rainfall in the mountains in Pingtung, Taitung and Hualien could total 500mm to 800mm, she added.

Daniel Wu (吳德榮), the bureau’s former weather center director, said Taiwan might be able to avoid destructive winds if Meranti’s eye skids through the Bashi Channel and does not make landfall.

Based on the bureau’s projected path for Meranti, Wu said the Hengchun Peninsula and Taitung are expected to be affected the most, as the former would be near the center of the typhoon and the latter is in the windward area.

Hualien and Taitung could see some damage, he said.

The areas that are likely to be least affected by the typhoon are those in central Taiwan, as they are protected by the Central Mountain Range and are far from the center of the typhoon, Wu said.

People in these areas should beware of showers and occasional gusts as well, he said.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said East Coast Line, South Link Line, Pingtung Line and Alishan Railway Line trains today would be canceled.

Trains between New Taipei City’s Shulin District (樹林) and Hualien are to continue operations.

Trains on the West Coast Line are to continue normal operations until 12pm today, the TRA said, adding that passengers for trains after noontime should check for its latest updates.

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (台灣高鐵) said that some of its trains leaving after 12pm might be delayed or canceled, particularly those between Tainan and Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營).

Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) has canceled all its domestic flights for today, while TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空) canceled most of its domestic flights, except for those between Taipei and Hualien.

Mandarin and China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) said that some flights leaving from southern Taiwan today or tomorrow might be canceled, postponed or take off earlier than scheduled.

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