Typhoon Intensifies: Taiwan Prepares

Tropical storm Nepartak intensified into a moderate level typhoon over the last 24 hours and tracked closer to Taiwan.

The Harbors Bureau announced a stoppage of ferry services on the east coast starting Wednesday July 6, when services will be limited to ferrying tourists on Green Island and Orchid Island back to Taiwan followed, by a full stoppage Thursday and Friday July 7 & 8. The first sea warnings are expected tomorrow.

On Taiwan’s west coast, oyster farmers still recuperating from losses due to last years Typhoon Soudelor hurried to harvest as much as they could before Nepartak hits. While the typhoon is forecast to affect the northern and northeastern parts of the island on Thursday, typhoons can sometimes veer from their predicted path.

While Taiwan, Japan, and US weather bureaus forecast the typhoon as passing north east of Taiwan, the Hong Kong Observatory predicted the typhoon would make landfall somewhere near Hualian and pass directly over the island.

map of predicted path of typhoon Nepartak
Picture taken from Hong Kong Observatory website 3PM July 5.
oyster farmers unloading oysters in Chiayi County, Taiwan
Oyster farmers in Tungshi (Dongshi) Harbor, Chiayi County, bring oysters to shore July 5, 2016 Photo: United Daily News

Pomelo farmers only a month away from harvest used bamboo and rope to tie down branches laden with the large fruit.

A pomelo farmer ties down branches of a pomelo tree
A pomelo farmer prepares his trees for an impending typhoon, July 5, 2016 Photo: Liberty Times Network

At Taipei Taoyuan International airport large pumps were put in place and sandbags readied. Heavy rains in June twice saw airport operations affected by floods.

large pumps for pumping floodwater at Taipei Airport
Pumps at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport are put in place in preparation for a typhoon and possible heavy rain and flooding July 2016

In Taiwan’s south, a damaged fishing vessel that is still undergoing forensic examination after being hit by a naval missile accidentally fired last Friday, is being prepared for towing to a naval dock in Kaohsiung before the typhoon hits.

a fishing boat that was hit by a missile
A fishing boat, hit by a naval missile accidentally fired, is prepared for towing to a safer location in case typhoon Nepartak passes accross Taiwan later this week. Photo: United Daily News
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