The story appears on

Page A3

September 15, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Taiwan’s strongest typhoon in 21 years brings island to a standstill

PARTS of Taiwan were brought to a standstill yesterday as Typhoon Meranti skirted past the island’s southern tip, bringing the strongest winds in 21 years and disrupting traffic ahead of a major holiday.

Although Typhoon Meranti did not make landfall, the storm brought violent winds and torrential rain to eastern and southern Taiwan.

At 0500 GMT, Meranti was 90 kilometers west-northwest of southernmost Hengchun township, packing gusts of up to 234km per hour. Hengchun’s observation station recorded the strongest winds in its 120-year history earlier yesterday.

“Meranti will have its most significant impact on Taiwan today,” said forecaster Hsieh Pei-yun.

“It is the strongest typhoon to hit Taiwan in 21 years in terms of maximum sustained wind near the center,” she added.

Southern Kenting, a tourist destination known for its white-sand beaches, was battered by winds and floods.

Residents in a fishing port in southern Taitung County woke up to find that a small lighthouse had disappeared and believed that powerful winds blew it off into the sea, as waves almost 10 meters high lashed the shore in the area.

Trucks and cargo containers were overturned while electricity poles and trees were blown down by winds in some southern areas. An uprooted tree hit a car in Kaohsiung city, though the driver was unharmed. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

School and work were cancelled in most eastern and southern counties. The typhoon has knocked out power for more than 300,000 households.

There are severe travel disruptions for the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend which starts today, as over 300 domestic and international flights have been cancelled and trains running along the east coast have been halted.

More than 130 ferry services to offshore islets and to several Chinese coastal cities have also been suspended.

The coast guard was forced to cancel a ceremony to launch two new ships in Kaohsiung while a maritime and defence expo in the city has been postponed, officials said.

The storm is expected to dump as much as 800 millimeters of rain in mountainous areas, potentially triggering landslides. Close to 1,500 people have been evacuated from at-risk areas, with about half in temporary shelters, an official tally showed.

Another storm brewing east of the Philippines may also affect Taiwan later this week.

The weather bureau’s Hsieh said tropical storm Malakas was expected to be closest to the island tomorrow and Saturday.

China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center upgraded its warning for ocean waves triggered by Typhoon Meranti to “red” yesterday, the highest alert on a four-tier warning system.

Gales and waves up to 12-meter high have been observed off the eastern coast of Taiwan, as the 14th typhoon this year moves westward and is expected to hit the coast of Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces today.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall in Fujian and Guangdong, and the State Oceanic Administration has initiated a class-II emergency response, the second-highest level.

Ships have been ordered to return to harbor and residents told to stay indoors.

Li Mei, a meteorologist in Fujian, said Meranti is among the strongest typhoon to hit China in recent years. Schools and kindergartens in coastal cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Putian were closed.

“The typhoon will bring gales and heavy rains when it makes landfall,” Li said. “Parents are advised to keep children indoors and stay away from unsafe houses and advertising boards.”

Passenger liners on eight routes between Fujian and Taiwan were canceled yesterday, as were at least 175 flights in and out of Fujian.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend