Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Typhoon Mangkhut likely to pass by Taiwan proper

PREEMPTIVE ACTION:Ferry operators canceled sailings from 12pm yesterday and suspended departures until Sunday, but forecasters said a sea warning was unlikely

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tourists return to Taitung from Green Island yesterday after ferry operators announced services would be suspended following warnings of dangerous conditions at sea caused by Typhoon Mangkhut.

Photo: CNA

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said it was less likely to issue a land alert for Typhoon Mangkhut as its projected path has moved further to the south.

It also said there was little chance it would issue a sea warning.

However, people in the south and east should still be prepared for damage caused by heavy rain, the agency said.

As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,270km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 21kph. The radius of the storm reached 280km with maximum wind speeds of 198kph.

The bureau forecast the typhoon would sweep across the north of the Philippines’ Luzon Island, bureau forecaster Wu Yi-fan (吳依帆) said, adding that its radius could expand to 300km.

Mangkhut is a Category 5 storm on the US scale, making it stronger than Hurricane Florence, which was a Category 4 storm, Weather Underground founder and meteorologist Jeff Masters told the US National Public Radio.

Bureau specialist Huang Treng-shi (黃椿喜) said that Mangkhut could become the strongest typhoon in the northwest Pacific Ocean this year.

As the typhoon continues to move west, showers would start to hit the east coast this afternoon, Huang said, adding that torrential rainfall is possible in Hualien and Taitung counties and the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) tomorrow, when the typhoon would be closest to Taiwan.

The west coast, by contrast, would see high temperatures, with Taichung, and Changhua and Miaoli counties possibly experiencing foehn winds — dry and exceptionally warm downslope winds, Huang said.

Several regions could still see strong winds brought by the storm’s circumference, Huang said.

Former bureau weather forecast center director Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said that the agency would need to adjust the typhoon’s path further southward because of a stronger Pacific high pressure system moving west.

Rain would continue tomorrow and on Sunday in the mountainous areas in the north, on the east coast and in Pingtung County before the weather improves, Wu said.

Ferry operators yesterday said they were canceling all departures between Taitung and Green Island and Orchid Island after 12pm yesterday, but had added departures in the morning to return 615 travelers to Taitung.

The operators canceled all departures today and tomorrow as well, saying that captains would decide whether to resume operations on Sunday.

The musical In-laws Next Door (隔壁親家), which was scheduled to premiere tomorrow at the Taitung Art Museum, has been rescheduled to Dec. 23.

An Aboriginal harvest festival in Taitung’s Donghe Township (東河), which was to begin on the same day, is to start on Friday next week instead.

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