Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated in Taiwan due to approaching Typhoon Haikui. It is expected to make landfall in the eastern part of Taiwan on Sunday at 5pm local time (11am Dutch time). It is the first tropical storm to directly hit the island in four years.
Taiwan’s Interior Ministry said authorities evacuated more than 2,800 people in seven cities as a precaution, most of them from the mountainous Hualien region. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, in a statement, called on people to stay at home as much as possible and not go to the mountains or the coast.
“The waves on the coast are slowly getting bigger. Please do not go to the beach to watch the waves or play in the water, let alone engage in dangerous activities,” Tsai said.
Flights have been cancelled
Haikoi’s sustained wind speed is about 90 mph. The cyclone has already dumped heavy rain on the area on Sunday morning. Schools and offices were closed in southern and eastern Taiwan, and more than 200 domestic flights were cancelled. The army has massed soldiers and equipment around the parts of the island where Hikiwi is expected to have the greatest impact.
The last major storm to hit Taiwan was Typhoon Bailu in 2019, which killed one person. Haikui is expected to be less damaging than Typhoon Saola, which struck Hong Kong and southern China earlier this week. Dozens were injured there. Taiwan itself was not affected by Storm Saola.
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