Taiwan Shuts Offices, Cancels Flights as Typhoon Koinu Nears
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan canceled flights and shut schools and offices across parts of the South and outlying islands Wednesday as Typhoon Koinu closes in on its southern tip.
The storm is bringing strong winds and waves up to seven meters tall along the southern coast, Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration said in a statement at 8 a.m. local time. Local governments shut schools and offices in Pingtung and Taitung counties and the outlying Penghu and Green Island.
The typhoon is about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Taiwan’s southernmost tip with sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 191 kph, according to the weather administration. It is forecast to make landfall in south Taiwan early Thursday afternoon.
Airlines have canceled more than 50 international and domestic flights across southern Taiwan over the coming days ahead of Koinu’s arrival. Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau also suspended 12 shipping routes for Wednesday.
Sea and land warnings remain in effect across much of the south of Taiwan. Koinu is forecast to exit Philippine territory on Thursday, according to its weather bureau, and “its passage over the rugged terrain of southern Taiwan will further weaken the typhoon.”
After making landfall in Taiwan, the typhoon is forecast to head toward the eastern coast of China’s Guangdong province, according to Hong Kong’s weather observatory.
The city will probably raise its lowest storm signal on Wednesday evening as the storm is forecast to bring winds and rain to Hong Kong from Friday and over the weekend, the observatory said in a statement.
Last month, Hong Kong was battered by Super Typhoon Saola — the strongest storm to hit the city in five years — as well as record rainfall from the remnants of Typhoon Haikui. The last time the city raised its maximum hurricane warning twice in the same year was in 1964, when it was hit by typhoons Ruby and Dot.