As Taiwan braces itself for the impending arrival of Typhoon Haikui, precautionary measures have been put into action to ensure the safety of its residents and mitigate the potential damage from this formidable natural force. This typhoon, set to make landfall in the late afternoon, poses a significant threat to the island’s southern and eastern regions, with heavy rains and powerful winds on the horizon.
The Taiwan Meteorological Department has been closely monitoring Typhoon Haikui’s progress, reporting maximum sustained winds of 137 kilometers per hour, accompanied by gusts reaching an alarming 173 kilometers per hour. In response to this impending threat, authorities have issued evacuation orders for approximately 3,000 individuals residing in vulnerable areas. Safety remains the top priority, and these evacuations are aimed at protecting lives and reducing the risks associated with the typhoon.
The impact of Typhoon Haikui extends beyond evacuations, as the island’s transportation systems and daily routines face disruptions. Taiwan’s two primary domestic airlines, UNI Air and Mandarin Airlines, have made the difficult decision to cancel all domestic flights, recognizing the danger posed by the impending storm. Furthermore, ferry services connecting Taiwan to nearby islands have also been suspended, ensuring that maritime routes are not compromised by the typhoon’s fury.
This storm’s trajectory doesn’t end with Taiwan; it’s expected to head towards China’s Fujian province after making landfall. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) wasted no time in issuing sea warnings as Haikui’s storm circle approached Taiwan and the Bashi Channel. These precautions are essential to alert sailors and fishermen of the impending danger and enable them to take appropriate action to stay safe.
Taiwan is bracing for an extended period of inclement weather, with heavy rain predicted to persist until at least September 6. Consequently, the Taiwanese government has implemented a series of measures to safeguard its citizens. Rail transport and ferry services have been suspended, ensuring that travelers do not become stranded in the midst of the typhoon’s onslaught. Furthermore, classes and outdoor events have been canceled, and workers are strongly urged to stay home during this period of heightened risk.
The impact of Typhoon Haikui extends beyond the logistical challenges and disruptions. Several planned events have been canceled or postponed, including a hot air balloon festival in the central Taichung region, outdoor concerts, art events, and even a baseball festival. Additionally, national parks and treacherous mountain roads have been closed to prevent any unnecessary risks to the public.
In a display of resilience and adaptability, the Hsinchu City International Kite Festival, originally scheduled for September 2 and 3, has been rescheduled to September 9 and 10. This decision underscores the determination of the Taiwanese people to continue their cultural celebrations despite the challenges posed by nature.
Comparatively, Typhoon Haikui is less powerful than its predecessor, Typhoon Saola, which recently struck Hong Kong and Guangdong province, China, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the evacuation of nearly 800,000 people. Haikui is expected to be categorized as a Category 1 or 2 typhoon when it reaches Taiwan, providing some relief from the earlier threat posed by Saola.
While international flights have experienced fewer disruptions, with only 25 cancellations scheduled for Sunday, the Taiwanese military has mobilized its resources to assist in flood relief and evacuation operations. Soldiers and equipment have been deployed to ensure a swift and coordinated response to any emergencies that may arise.
As Typhoon Haikui advances through southern Taiwan, its path is expected to lead it across the Taiwan Strait, ultimately heading towards China. The challenges posed by this natural disaster underscore the importance of preparedness, resilience, and the collective effort required to navigate the formidable forces of nature. Taiwan remains vigilant, united in the face of adversity, and committed to protecting the well-being of its citizens.