Taiwan issues sea and land warning for Typhoon Soudelor

Taiwan issues sea and land warning for Typhoon Soudelor
Typhoon Soudelor photographed from the International Space Station on Aug. 4, 2015
PHOTO: NASA

TAIPEI, Taiwan - School and work are cancelled today in Yilan, Hualien and Green Island Township as well as Orchid Island Township, due to Typhoon Soudelor.

Typhoon Soudelor will be the first typhoon to make landfall in Taiwan this year. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) announced both sea and land warnings yesterday and urged all to be careful as strong winds and huge rainfall is anticipated.

As of 8 p.m. yesterday, the centre of the typhoon was moving west-northwest from the Western Pacific toward Taiwan at a speed of 23 kilometers per hour with minimum pressure at 930 hPa, its radius had reached 280 km.

CWB official Hsieh Ming-chang said that the greatest impact will take place this afternoon or tomorrow evening and the centre of Soudelor may incline toward north or south.

Yilan, Hualien and Taitung are all possible landing locations, but from its tracks so far, it is most likely that it will land on Hualien and Taitung, he said.

According to the CWB's estimation, Typhoon Soudelor is still brewing and may strengthen later, the storm radius also seems to be developing continuously. Regions that are closer to the centre will experience heavy winds and an estimated 400-600 millimeters of rainfall on the plains and more in the mountains.

The CWB warned fishing vessels operating on the northeast and southeast coast, as well as Bashi Channel (巴士海峽), to be on the alert. In addition, the outer rim of the typhoon is expected to bring heavy rains and waves to the eastern part of Taiwan, including Orchid Island (蘭嶼) and Green Island (綠島), to the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) in the south and to southwest regions near the coast. It is recommended to stay away from the coast.

Due to the arrival of Soudelor, Taipei vegetable markets' average transaction fee rose yesterday to NT$36.9 per kilo, a 22.19-per cent increase compared to Aug. 4. Produce arriving in the market also had a 7.78-per cent increase, showing that the Council of Agriculture (COA) has regulated the supplies.

Take Taipei's cabbage price for example, it was NT$30.5 per kilo yesterday but only NT$21.5 last week on Aug. 4, a 41.86-per cent increase.

However, Agriculture and Food Agency Director Li Tsang-lang predicted that the damage to major vegetable production regions in Western Taiwan won't be as severe as before, therefore there is no need to over-stock on food.

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