Although Tropical Storm Kompasu did not make landfall in Taiwan, heavy rain and strong winds brought by the cyclone disrupted travel on the final day of the Double Ten National Day long weekend, and caused work and school cancelations in some townships.
The Hualien County Government canceled work and school in Hsiulin (秀林) and Wanrong (萬榮) townships last night, while the Taitung County Government made a similar announcement for Green Island (綠島) and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼).
Forty-six ferry services between Taiwan proper and outlying islands, as well as 48 domestic flights, were canceled, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.
People should avoid visiting the Hehuanshan Forest Recreation Area in Nantou County, as the maximum wind speed there reached force 14 on the Beaufort scale, the Forestry Bureau’s Dongshih Forest District Office said.
The Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area in Yilan County is to be closed today due to the storm, the Luodong Forest District Office said, adding that the area would reopen after the storm passes and it is deemed safe to visit.
Sixteen tourists trapped in the Mystery Beach Sea Cave in Yilan’s Nanao Township (南澳) on Sunday night were rescued at about 7am yesterday by the National Airborne Service Corps and National Fire Agency, the Central Emergency Operations Center said.
However, rescue personnel were still trying to rescue five campers trapped on a sandbar at Taigang Hot Springs in Hsinchu County as of press time last night.
As of 8:30pm, Kompasu was 340km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), the southernmost tip of Taiwan proper, moving west at 26kph, Central Weather Bureau data showed.
The storm had a radius of 250km and maximum sustained winds of 101kph.
The bureau maintained a sea alert for the Bashi Channel and the waters around the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島).
Bureau forecaster Hsieh Pei-yun (謝佩芸) said the storm is expected to affect Taiwan until this morning and forecast heavy rainfall for the east coast.
Between 2pm yesterday and 2pm today, accumulated rainfall in mountainous areas in Hualien is expected to reach 400mm to 600mm, while that in mountainous areas in Yilan and Taitung counties, as well as northern Taiwan, could reach 250mm to 490mm, she said.
The bureau could lift the sea warning this morning if the storm continues to move west, but rain would continue in eastern Taiwan before gradually easing today, Hsieh said.
Wind speeds in Lanyu reached force 16, while wind speeds of force 9 to 12 were recorded in Yunlin County, the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) and coastal areas in the east, she said.
Wave heights reached 6m in waters off Yilan’s Suao Township, Lanyu and Oluanpi, while waves 3m to 5m high were detected off the east coast and in the Taiwan Strait, she added, urging people to avoid ocean activities for the next few days.
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