Taiwan battens down the hatches as Typhoon Koinu approaches east coast

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for communities on Taiwan’s east coast as Typhoon Koinu intensified as it continued to move towards the island today, Tuesday, October 3.

The CWB issued the alert for Hualien, Taitung, and Pingtung counties at 11:30 am, warning the public to prepare for torrential rain, and strong winds.

According to the CWB, at 11:00 am, Typhoon Koinu was located 440 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan’s most southerly point, Point Eluanbi, and moving northwest at a speed of 11 kilometers per hour.

A storm radius of 220-250 kilometers was packing sustained winds of 162 kilometers per hour with gusts up to 198 kilometers per hour.

National and municipal authorities began preparations to mitigate possible risks brought by heavy rain and wind. In the southern city of Tainan, 13,000 sandbags were prepared for distribution to people who live in flood-prone areas. In the north, the Taoyuan City Government prepared 38,000 sandbags and deployed mobile pumps to low-lying areas.

mobile pump deployed for flood
A mobile pump deployed in Taoyuan City. Picture: Taoyuan City Government.

In Greater Taipei, municipal authorities announced that levee gates would be open only for exit this afternoon, and any car still parked within the levee walls after 9:00 pm will be towed away. The early closure of the levee gates comes as Shimen Reservoir began releasing water ahead of the expected onslaught of rain, warning that the flood discharge will reach 672 CMS by tomorrow.

Farmers on the east coast rushed to harvest or secure what they could of their remaining crops, lamenting that they were still in the process of repairing and replacing shade cloth and other equipment damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haikui, which hit the area on September 3, exactly one month ago, today.

The East Coast Scenic Area Management Service set up a live feed of multiple cameras, urging people to stay home and watch the waves via Internet, rather than venturing to the coast and endangering their lives.

Live webcam at Sanxiantai, Taitung County.

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