Hundreds evacuated as Typhoon Soulik nears Taiwan
TAIPEI – Hundreds of villagers were evacuated and schools and businesses shut down in Taiwan Friday as it prepared for the arrival of Typhoon Soulik, expected to pound the island with powerful winds and heavy rain over the weekend.
Offices and schools closed in Taipei and eight other cities with residents advised to stay indoors as the typhoon churns towards the island.
Packing winds of up to 209 kilometers an hour (130 miles), Soulik is expected to make landfall on the north-east coast around 3 a.m. Saturday , the Central Weather Bureau said.
The bureau downgraded Soulik from a super typhoon to a moderate typhoon but warned residents across the island to prepare for “extreme torrential rain” — classified as 350mm (13 inches) within 24 hours — and rough seas.
More than 600 residents were evacuated from six low-lying aboriginal riverside villages outside the capital city on Friday morning.
In Wuchieh, a township in the northeastern Yilan county — which is forecast to bear the brunt of Soulik — over 2,000 sandbags were snatched up by residents and two amphibious military vehicles deployed for rescue.
Waves as high as 1.5 meters were hitting the shore in Yilan on Friday afternoon as coastguards patrolled the beach to warn visitors to stay away while hundreds of fishing boats sought shelter.
“Many farmers have harvested rice, fruits and vegetables early as the typhoon is expected to impact our area,” said Huang Hai-tao, an official in Jiaosi, a popular tourist destination in Yilan.
“The typhoon has also caused some damage to tourism as more than 90 percent bookings for this weekend have been cancelled.”
More than 2,000 tourists had already been evacuated from the remote Green Island, south east of Taiwan, on Thursday.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94