Typhoon Soudelor – Sea and land warnings issued by the Taiwanese authorities as the most powerful storm is heading across the Pacific Ocean towards the island of Taiwan.
Educational institutes and financial markets remain closed in the areas of Yilan, Hualien and Green Island Township as well as Orchid Island Township as the typhoon is expected to hit northern and eastern parts of the island sometime today in the afternoon.
The Central Weather Bureau announced the sea and land alerts yesterday, and urged all the citizens to be careful as strong winds and heavy rainfall is anticipated. Hsieh Ming-chang, Central Weather Bureau official, said that the greatest impact will take place Friday evening and the center of Soudelor may incline toward north or south.
The storm is expected to strengthen as it approaches the Taiwan’s shores and the radius also seems to be developing continuously. The residents living near the center will experience heavy winds and an estimated 400-600 millimeters of rainfall.
The people are warned to stay off the coast and even fishing vessels are not permitted to operate in the northeast as well as southeast coast of Taiwan. Heavy rain and the resultant flooding will be the primary concern over the weekend. As it passes the island, it is expected to strike mainland China near Quanzhou.
Due to the arrival of Soudelor, vegetable prices rose in Taipei markets amid fears of bad weather would cut supplies. However, Agriculture and Food Agency Director predicted that the damage won’t be as severe as before, therefore there is no need to over-stock on food.
Earlier this week, Soudelor was labeled as the strongest storm of the year with sustained winds predicted to reach 160 knots (296 km/h). Since January 2015, it is the fourth typhoon to trigger sea or land warnings in Taiwan. The island experiences an average of more than three typhoons every year and some of them have proved deadly. IMAGE/AFP/NASA