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Taiwan braces for Typhoon Malakas

The moderate typhoon is expected to sweep past Taiwan without making landfall, with the storm’s outer rim brushing the eastern coastline early Saturday.

Areas projected to be impacted are: Yilan, Hualien, Taitung (including Orchid Island and Green Island), Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Taichung.

The CWB has also forecast torrential rain for these areas, especially in mountainous regions of Taipei, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Nantou, Yunlin and Chiayi.

The CWB warned that heavy rainfall over the past week may have left the aforementioned areas vulnerable to landslides.

Both sea and land warnings for the typhoon have been issued by the CWB.

As of 10 p.m. Friday, Moderate Typhoon Malakas had moved into seas to the southeast of Taiwan, some 260 kilometers to the east of Hengchun.

The typhoon has reached wind speeds of 155 kilometers per hour, with gust of 191 kilometers per hour, and is currently moving at a speed of 18 kilometers per hour in a north-northwesterly direction.

With a radius of 150 kilometers as of late Friday evening, Typhoon Malakas may gain strength and potentially have a greater impact.

However, the likelihood of Malakas strengthening into a severe typhoon were low, the CWB said.

The CWB also warned of strong waves as the typhoon approaches.

A spattering of torrential rain warnings were also issued for areas in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and mountainous regions in Western Taiwan.

Malakas approaches the island just days after Typhoon Meranti barreled across southern Taiwan.

Meranti brought the strongest gusts the region has seen in decades as well as localized flooding.The typhoon also left one dead and dozens injured.

Premier Lin Chuan inspected disaster relief efforts in Kinmen County, where Meranti estimated to have caused damages in excess of NT$1.8 billion.

At least 5 million trees were felled by the storm’s strong gusts.

As of press time, the electricity supply had yet to be restored to the county.

Taiwan’s military has also placed 23,308 soldiers on standby nationwide to help with potential relief efforts, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Rundown of Canceled Transportation

All Taiwan High Speed Rail services are likely operate as normal on Saturday, though an update on the service’s status will be announced before 10:30 a.m.

Certain services may be delayed in Northern Taiwan due to the adjustment of train speeds in light of extreme weather.

Most international and cross-strait flights scheduled for Saturday have not been affected, however China Airlines flights between Taoyuan and Ishigaki Island for Saturday have been rescheduled for Sept. 18.

TransAsia Airways flights between the Songshan airport and Chongqing have also been rescheduled.

Most domestic flights from Songshan, Kaohsiung and Taichung bound for cities in Eastern Taiwan and outlying islands have been canceled by local airlines Mandarin Airlines, Far Eastern Airlines, Uni Air and TransAsia Airways.

Natchan RERA (麗娜輪) ferries between Su’ao in Yilan County to Hualien have been suspended until Sept. 18.

All ferries between Taitung, Orchid Island and Green Island have been canceled for Sept. 17 and Sept. 18.