Taiwan can’t catch a break. Two powerful typhoons – Meranti (the strongest of 2016) and Malakas – have already blown past in the last two weeks and now a third one is poised to make landfall this evening.
Typhoon Megi is currently on the move across the western Pacific Ocean and already has all of Taiwan within its storm radius. Its eye is expected to make landfall between Hualien and Taitung, with eastern Taiwan receiving the worst effects. A typhoon warning and extremely heavy rain advisories have already been issued.
Typhoon Megi is now a Category 3 storm, with wind speeds up to 105 mph.
More than 3,700 tourists were evacuated from the south-eastern Orchid Island and Green Island over the weekend, and ferry services there were suspended on Monday. On the mainland, more than 5,000 people have been evacuated from their mountain homes and 52,000 households have already lost power.
High speed rail service will be suspended for Tuesday and the main highway along the Pacific Coast between Suao, Yilan County and Hualien, as well as the northern and central cross-island highways, have been closed as a safeguard. Further updates on the situation can be found at Focus Taiwan.
Aside from threatening older buildings with collapse, Megi’s landfall would bring flying or falling debris. Mountains that have already experienced heavy rainfall from previous typhoons Meranti and Malakas are expected to see landslides and flash floods.
The rainstorm has already begun:
— Ryan Song (@RyanSong1230) September 27, 2016
— James Reynolds (@EarthUncutTV) September 27, 2016
Travellers are advised to track alerts by the Central Weather Bureau. Regular weather bulletins in English can be heard via International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) on 100.7 FM in the Taipei and Kaohsiung areas and on 100.1 FM in Taichung.
Taiwanese and tourists alike can look forward to clearer skies once the typhoon season ends in October.
In the meantime you can witness Typhoon Megi’s arrival on Youtube via livestream.
By Vincent Tan