Taiwan issues warning for severe tropical storm

TAIPEI - Taiwan officials issued land and sea warnings on Tuesday for a severe tropical storm, the island’s first this year, with heavy rain and wind gusts up to 90 kph (60 mph) expected before it heads to China.

By (Reuters)

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2010, 1:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:37 AM

Although the storm falls one level short of a full-blown typhoon, Taiwan authorities have been particularly cautious since a typhoon last year — the worst in 50 years — killed about 700 people after initially being categorised as relatively weak storm.

That prompted a cabinet reshuffle as citizens accused the government of reacting too slowly.

The storm dubbed Namtheun, was expected to reach northern areas of the island by late Tuesday with sustained winds of up to 65 kph (40 mph), the Central Weather Bureau said on its website (www.cwb.gov.tw).

Namtheun will pass over the capital Taipei and the island’s major northern port city Keelung, the weather bureau said, warning of mudslides, rockfalls and sudden swelling of rivers.

The storm — and two others not on track to hit Taiwan — prompted the cancellation of 42 domestic flights and six international flights on Tuesday, the civil aviation authority said.

The storm could grow to a category 1 typhoon, the mildest on a 1-5 scale, and reach the coast of southeast China, according to forecasting website Tropical Storm Risk (www.tropicalstormrisk.com).

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before weakening over land.

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