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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Typhoon Morakot approaching Taiwan

Typhoon Morakot is gaining strength as it approaches Taiwan over the next couple of days. Tracking maps indicate that Morakot (which is Thai for emerald) will strike the island dead on as a Level 2 typhoon.

Taiwan braces for Typhoon Morakot (AFP)

TAIPEI — Taiwan's weather bureau on Thursday urged residents to take precautions as the first major typhoon of the season gained strength and churned towards the island.

Typhoon Morakot, which means "emerald" in Thai, is expected to bring powerful winds and torrential rains over the weekend if it keeps its current course, the bureau said


All of Taiwan to feel onslaught of Typhoon Morakot Friday (e-Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Typhoon Morakot was likely to envelop all of Taiwan in heavy rain and strong winds Friday and Saturday, according to forecasts by the Central Weather Bureau.

The rains were likely to cause mudslides in the hills and floods in low-lying areas, but also to fill the country’s water reservoirs, ending recent fears of drought and water rationing.

-- snip --

The typhoon was gaining strength as it was moving west-northwest in the direction of northern Taiwan, while its radius of 250 kilometers was likely to include all of Taiwan.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, the eye of the typhoon was located 370 kilometers east-southeast of Ilan, and moving west to west-northwest at a speed slowing down from 20 to 16 kilometers per hour, the weather bureau said.

Morakot was packing sustained winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 180 kilometers per hour.

The eye of the typhoon was likely to cross Northern Taiwan from east to west between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that as it moved closer, its direction and speed might become more unpredictable.

Torrential rain would hit all parts of Taiwan, though the northwest would see the heaviest precipitation, forecasters said. The Central Weather Bureau predicted 600 to 1,000 millimeters of rain for mountainous areas in the counties of Miaoli, Hsinchu and Taoyuan. Until the typhoon appeared, those were the counties most likely to face drought and rationing as water reservoirs in the area were depleted.

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