Super Typhoon Maria Heads Toward Taiwan, Spurring Extreme Weather Warnings

By | July 9, 2018

A fierce typhoon is headed in the direction of Taiwan, spurring warnings over extreme weather that risks shuttering schools, businesses and the stock exchange.

Super Typhoon Maria could bring strong winds and heavy rains to northern and central Taiwan in the coming days, Central Weather Bureau specialist Judy Wuu told reporters on Monday. Taipei, the political and business capital, is on the island’s northern tip.

The weather authority may issue a sea warning this afternoon and a land warning about midnight, she said in an interview broadcast on Taiwan’s TVBS, advising residents to take precautionary measures. It is currently unclear whether the storm will make direct landfall in Taiwan. The weather bureau forecasts it to be at its closest on Tuesday evening.

Maria, with sustained winds of up to 198 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 245 kilometers per hour, was categorized as a super typhoon by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It was 1,290 kilometers east-southeast of Taipei as of 8 a.m. on Monday local time, the bureau said.

The storm is heading west-northwest with decreasing speed at 29 kilometers per hour and comes amid extreme weather in other parts of Asia. Japan is grappling with the fallout from historic rainfall in the country’s west which killed 90 people and pushed more than 23,000 into evacuation centers.

In 2015, Typhoon Dujuan killed two people in Taiwan and left thousands of households without power or water. Schools, offices and the stock exchange were closed as the storm wreaked havoc on the island and crippled its train service.

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