Typhoon land warning issued

FITOW ON ITS WAY::The Central Weather Bureau said areas in the north and northeast, as well as the central mountainous areas, will likely see torrential rain

Staff writer, with CNA and AFP

Sun, Oct 06, 2013 - Page 1

The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Typhoon Fitow yesterday afternoon, predicting the storm will bring heavy rainfall in northern and northeastern Taiwan.

As of 2pm, Fitow, which was upgraded from a tropical storm as it gained momentum, was centered about 550km east of Taipei, moving west-northwest at a speed of 18kph.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 137kph, with gusts reaching 173kph, the bureau said.

Although the eye of the typhoon is likely to skirt northern Taiwan without making a direct landfall, downpours are likely in northern and northeastern parts of the country, forecasters said.

“Fitow is maintaining its strength and will bring heavy rains to northern and northeastern Taiwan, especially Taipei City and New Taipei City (新北市). Its impact is expected to be strongest on Sunday morning [today],” the bureau said.

According to the bureau, Taipei, New Taipei City and Yilan County could see accumulated precipitation of about 350mm over the next 24 hours, while mountainous areas in central Taiwan might also see torrential rain.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Danas, which remains far from Taiwan, is not likely to interact with Fitow and threaten weather in the nation over the next few days, the bureau said.

Taiwan has been hit by a string of strong typhoons and tropical storms in recent months.

Typhoon Usagi, the most powerful storm of the year, lashed the nation last month, injuring at least 12 people, disrupting traffic and leaving tens of thousands of households without power.