Typhoon Haikui strikes Taiwan’s east coast

The whole island of Taiwan came under the influence of Typhoon Haikui this morning, Sunday, September 3, and the National Disaster Response Center is coordinating efforts to mitigate potential disasters caused by torrential rain and strong winds.

At 9:00 am, the eye of Typhoon Haiku was situated 140 kilometers east of Taitung and moving west-northwest at 9 kilometers per hour.

According to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the eye of the Typhoon is expected to make landfall in Taitung county in the late afternoon or evening today, and the wind and rain in eastern districts is expected to be the strongest during the afternoon.

President Tsai Ing-wen told a meeting of National Disaster Response Center that this would be the first typhoon to make landfall on the island and cross its central mountain range in four years.

People should avoid going out and not go up mountains, to the coast, fishing or engage in water sports, a statement from the Presidential Office said.

CWB Deputy Director Fong Chin-tzu said that the typhoon had increased in strength since yesterday and urged the public to be on guard.

“It is expected to pose a considerable threat to most areas in Taiwan with winds, rains and waves,” Fong said.

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said that more than 2,800 people have been evacuated from areas vulnerable to disasters such as flooding and landslides. The military has deployed around 19,000 troops with equipment such as amphibious vehicles and inflatable boats to assist with disaster response operations.

Army AAV7 amphibious vehicle being loaded onto truck
Army amphibious vehicle being loaded for transport to potential disaster area. Picture: Naval Command.

The CWB issued an extremely heavy rain advisory at 11:15 am, warning of torrential rain in Taitung, Hualien, and parts of Yilan County; extremely heavy rain in parts of Yilan County, mountain areas of Hsinchu County and Taichung City; and heavy rain for Keelung and Greater Taipei, mountain areas of Taoyuan City, Miaoli, Nantou, Yunlin, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

rain advisory map for typhoon Haikui September 3, 2023

According to the Civil Aviation Administration, as of 10:00 am, 222 domestic flights and 37 international flights have been cancelled.


According to Taipower, as of 5:00 pm more than 70,000 households had suffered power outages, including 33,378 households in Taitung County, and 8,746 households in Hualien County, the two counties that bore the brunt of the typhoon’s landfall.

The National Disaster Response Center said that it had received hundreds of reports of damage caused by the typhoon, including landslides, tree falls, fallen signs, flooded roads, damaged buildings, and other typhoon-related disasters.

In Zhuoxi Township, Hualien County, two people were slightly injured when a tree fell onto a moving light truck, trapping the occupants in the damaged vehicle. The 45-year-old driver, named Lin, and his 22-year-old son had taken advantage of a lull in the wind and rain at around 11:00 am to go out and buy supplies to ride out the typhoon. The injured men were sent to hospital to be treated for cuts, abrasions and bruising.

tree falls on truck
Damaged vehicle after tree fall traps occupants in Hualien County as Typhoon Haikui bears down on Taiwan’s east coast, September 3, 2023. Picture: Hualien County Police.
boulder falls on road
An excavator clearing a landslide on Provincial Highway 7 in Datong Township, Yilan County is almost hit by a falling boulder, September 3, 2023.
mud and soil covers highway in Taitung County, Taiwan
Mud and soil covers Provincial Highway 9 in Yuli Township, Taitung County, blocking traffic in both directions due to the impact of Typhoon Haikui, September 3, 2023. Picture: Taitung County Police.

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