TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As Tropical Storm Bailu was barreling toward Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau issued land warnings for the southernmost counties of Taitung and Pingtung Friday (August 23) afternoon, while the storm was still expected to make landfall in Taitung before 2 p.m. Saturday (August 24).
The land warnings against strong winds and torrential rain were also valid for Orchid Island, Green Island, and the Hengchun Peninsula, the weather bureau said.
By 2 p.m. Friday, the eye of the storm was situated 600 kilometers southeast of Taitung and moving at a speed of 24 km per hour towards the northwest. Wind speeds near its center reached 101 kph, with gusts of up to 126 kph.
Forecasters estimated that 24 hours later, the eye of the storm would be located 50 km southwest of Taitung.
The weather bureau issued sea warnings for most maritime areas around Taiwan except for the far north at 5:30 a.m. Friday.
One of the results of the approaching tropical storms was the threat of high temperatures, even in the north, where the mercury was expected to reach 36 degrees. Later Friday, the hot weather would be gradually replaced by rain as Bailu made itself felt, reports said.
In the popular resort town of Kenting in Pingtung County, tourists were being advised to leave the beaches and stay away from the ocean, cable station TVBS reported.
As the tropical storm was expected to make landfall Saturday, most of that day islandwide would be dominated by strong winds and heavy rain. Residents and travelers were warned against the dangers of flooding, landslides, and strong waves.
(Central Weather Bureau)