People in Taiwan’s northern, northeastern and central regions should brace for stormy weather today brought by Typhoon Lekima, which has strengthened, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.
As of 8:30pm yesterday, the storm’s center was 350km southeast of Taipei and was moving northwest at 18kph, bureau data showed.
Maximum wind speed near the typhoon’s center was 191kph and its radius had expanded to 280km, the data showed.
The bureau at 8:30am issued a land alert for the typhoon after issuing a sea alert at 5:30pm on Wednesday.
The land alert applies to Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Taichung, as well as Hsinchu, Miaoli, Yilan and Hualien counties, the bureau said.
The sea alert applies to vessels off the nation’s north and east coasts — including Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) and Green Island — as well as the northern Taiwan Strait, it said.
The typhoon was forecast to affect the nation from last night to all day today, bureau forecaster Luo Ya-yin (羅雅尹) said, adding that northern Taiwan is expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon’s effects as it approaches.
People in the central and southern regions should beware of rain carried by a southwest wind after the typhoon moves past Taiwan, she said.
The bureau forecast that accumulated rainfall from yesterday to tomorrow in the cities and counties north of Taichung would range from 200mm to 600mm in plains areas.
Rainfall in mountainous areas of Taipei could exceed 500mm, while those in New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli could top 900mm, and such areas in Taichung could see 800mm, the bureau said.
As of 8pm yesterday, Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hsinchu City, as well as Hsinchu and Yilan counties, had announced that work and classes would be canceled today.
Offices and schools in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, as well as Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Nantou, Pingtung, Taitung and Kinmen counties, are to be open today.
Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航), Uni Air (立榮航空), All Nippon Airways, Shandong Airlines, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines have announced that they would cancel or delay some of their flights due to the typhoon.
Travelers are advised to check the status of their flights before leaving for the airport.
Waves as high as 3m have been observed in Taitung and Orchid Island, the bureau said, advising people to avoid seaside activities.
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said that high-speed rail services between Taipei and Taichung would be canceled today.
Between Taichung and Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung, the company said that it would dispatch three northbound and three southbound trains every hour from 6am to 10:55pm, adding that each train would only be equipped with unreserved seating cabins.
The schedule for tomorrow is to be announced by 8pm today, it said.
As of press time last night, the Taiwan Railways Administration had not announced any adjustments to its train schedules in response to the typhoon.
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