The Central Weather Bureau yesterday downgraded Chanthu to a medium typhoon, saying that its center was unlikely to make landfall, but would still bring heavy rain and gusting winds to most of Taiwan.
The bureau, which on Friday issued sea and land warnings for what was then Super Typhoon Chanthu, yesterday said the storm had been losing strength as it traveled up the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines.
It forecast that Chanthu would skirt Taiwan’s east coast last night and into this morning, then head toward China’s Zhejiang Province and Shanghai.
Photo courtesy of the Huadong Defense Command via CNA
It issued a heavy rain advisory for Hualien, Taitung and Pingtung counties that was to remain in effect into last night.
According to the bureau’s advisory system, a heavy rain alert indicates likely accumulated rainfall of 80mm or more over a 24-hour period.
The bureau forecast rain for all of Taiwan today, when the storm is expected to accelerate.
The central and local governments have taken disaster prevention measures in case of landslides or flooding.
The Taitung County Government closed government offices and schools yesterday afternoon, while the Hualien County Government evacuated about 2,000 people to temporary shelters.
Dozens of domestic and international flights were delayed or canceled.
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) canceled several flights scheduled for today, including to Singapore, Osaka, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Seoul, San Francisco, Houston and Paris.
Domestic carriers Uni Air (立榮航空) and Mandarin Airlines Ltd (華信航空) canceled all of their flights scheduled for today.
Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines Corp (中國東方航空) said it canceled today’s flights between Taipei and Shanghai.
Sea and land transportation in Taiwan have also been affected by the approaching storm.
A total of 46 ferry trips on seven routes were canceled yesterday, the Maritime Port Bureau said.
The Taiwan Railways Administration gradually canceled services along its South Link Line starting yesterday afternoon, while services in western and eastern Taiwan were unaffected.
Chanthu was unlikely to affect semiconductor factories on Taiwan’s west coast, the weather bureau said.
At press time last night, Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung, as well as Yilan, Hualien and Taitung counties, had declared today a typhoon day, canceling work and classes.
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