Taiwan shuts down as it awaits Typhoon Maria

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers secure a rope to the shore at the Patoutzu Fishing Harbour in Keelung on Tuesday. Sam yeh/afp

Taiwan shuts down as it awaits Typhoon Maria

Schools and offices in Taiwan will close Tuesday and flights have been cancelled as Typhoon Maria churns towards Taiwan bringing torrential rains and powerful winds.

Maria was 500km east of the northeastern coastal town of Yilan with gusts of up to 190 kilometres an hour as of 10 am local time (0200 GMT), the weather bureau said.

Its impact was expected to be the strongest from late Tuesday to early Wednesday, with downpours up to 500 millimetres forecast in some areas, the bureau added.

Officials have warned of possible floods and mudslides.

Taiwanese authorities announced that offices and schools would close on Tuesday afternoon in five cities, including Yilan, where strong waves have started to pound the shore.

Local television footage showed farmers in Yilan rushing to their fields harvest scallions, the county’s most famous produce.

Fishermen in coastal Keeling also brought in their catch and secured their boats ahead of the storm, one day after dozens of ferry services to outlying islands were cancelled.

Taiwan’s UNI Air cancelled around 70 domestic flights on Tuesday while two other airlines have cancelled flights to the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific said it has cancelled over a dozen flights between Hong Kong and Taipei, as well as from Hong Kong to Okinawa on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Premier William Lai warned local authorities and the public to “remain vigilant” for the first typhoon of the season in Taiwan.

He urged people to stay indoors and cooperate with the government’s disaster prevention plans.

The typhoon will not make a direct hit if it continues on its current trajectory, which would see it skim off northern Taiwan, according to the weather bureau.

Taiwan is frequently hit by typhoons in the summer. Last year more than 100 people were injured when Typhoon Nesat battered the island. AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • ‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

    In his message on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, known by its French acronym FUNSK, Prime Minister Hun Sen said for the sake of unity in the Kingdom, he is “tolerant” to those who “acknowledged their mistakes”, and

  • Sam Rainsy named ‘acting president’ in ‘Kem Sokha absence’

    Sam Rainsy was nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) as the curtain fell on the two-day international conference the former opposition party held in the US over the weekend, a move supporters of the previous leader Kem Sokha blasted as “unacceptable”.