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Sea warning issued as Typhoon Megi draws closer to Taiwan

As of 11 p.m. Sunday, Megi was centered 830 kilometers east-southeast of Hualien on Taiwan’s East Coast and was moving in a west-northwest direction at 22 kph, with gusts reaching 180 kph, according to bureau data.

Megi was expected to be 470 kilometers east of Eluanpi at 2 p.m. Monday, the bureau said.

The CWB said Sunday it would attempt to track approaching Typhoon Megi on Monday, the day before the storm is forecast to sweep over the island.

The six-hour observation mission will start at 5 a.m., when an aircraft takes off from Taichung Airport to drop radiosondes with parachutes into the peripheral winds of Megi and along its projected course, the bureau said.

The mission will be the 76th time Taiwan has used parachuted radiosondes for typhoon observation. The missions are part of the Dropwindsonde Observation for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR) project.

According to the weather bureau, the mission will be performed using an Astra jet, which will fly up to 13,000 meters above sea level before releasing the parachute radiosondes.

The DOTSTAR project has been jointly run by the CWB, the National Applied Research Laboratories, the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute, National Taiwan University and state-funded Aerospace Industrial Development Corp.