Super typhoon Usagi weakens to mid-strength: CWB

TAIPEI - Typhoon Usagi has decreased from a super typhoon to medium strength as it heads in a west-northwesterly direction, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.

According to the CWB, Usagi is expected to be situated around 510 kilometers west of South Cape by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Usagi was moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 19 kph and the land warning for the storm could be dismissed as early as Sunday morning, according to the bureau.

The CWB issued a land warning for Typhoon Usagi at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, and the bureau said that the typhoon will continue to weaken, but people in Eastern, Southern and Central Taiwan should still keep alert for heavy rains.

According to the CWB, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Pingtung, Yunlin, Chiayi, Hualien, Taitung, Kinmen and Penghu residents should still be wary of falling rocks, landslides, flash floods and flooding in low-lying areas.

The CWB said that a new typhoon, Pabuk, formed yesterday. Pabuk is currently heading toward Japan and is not expected to affect Taiwan.

Disastrous Situation Reported

The Central Emergency Operation Center yesterday said that Usagi has thus far injured nine and cut power for 89,896 families.

The centre said that nine of the injured were hurt by roadside trees while riding motorcycles, though at least five only suffered minor injuries.

The centre also issued 13 grade-one landslide warnings in areas of Yilan County and Pingtung County.

The Taitung County Government yesterday announced school and work suspensions for Daren Township, Orchid Island, Jinfong Township and Dawu Township for Sept. 22.

Transportation Affected

China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines yesterday announced that all flights between Taiwan and Hong Kong on Sunday after 4 p.m. will be cancelled due to Typhoon Usagi.

According to China Airlines, flights CI915/CI916 between Taipei and Hong Kong will depart one hour and 25 minutes earlier than their original scheduled departure times.

The airline also said that flights CI527/CI528 commuting between Taipei and Shenzhen will depart 75 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Uni Air yesterday announced that all flights operating on Sunday will not be adjusted, but changes might be made depending on weather conditions.

The Taiwan Railways Administration yesterday announced that depending on the amount of people traveling tomorrow, more trains might be added as most trains were cancelled yesterday.