Taiwan Battens Down the Hatches

Updates at bottom of article

The majority of Taiwan’s counties and cities canceled school and work for today, Tuesday, September 27, as category 3 typhoon Megi enveloped the island, bringing pelting rain and wind gusts up to 55m/s.

Residents of Yunlin County, Chiayi City, Chiayi County, Tainan City, and Kaohsiung City in the southern part of Taiwan criticized local authorities who made the decision to issue a half-day stop-work/stop-class order. Parents braved strong winds and rainy conditions to take their children to school at around 7:00am. The children will have to be picked up at noon when the influence of the typhoon will be stronger.

billboard collapsed, Tainan City, Typhoon Megi
A billboard collapsed onto a road in Tainan City, Tuesday morning, where municipal authorities declared a half-day holiday, forcing many parents to take their children to school in dangerous conditions. A passing motorcyclist was slightly injured and many accidents have been reported around the City, September 27, 2016. Photo: CNA

Typhoon Megi slowed down as it approached the island. Waves up to 10 meters slammed into the east coast counties of Taitung and Hualien, while torrential rain caused rivers to swell in the northern and central districts. Residents in the mountain districts of Hsinchu were evacuated from landslide-prone areas where mudslides and rockfalls have already caused some roads to be blocked.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau warned of ‘super-torrential rain,’ especially in Hualien and Ilan Counties. The Transport Ministry announced the closure of Provincial Highway 9 Taipei-Ilan from midday. As of 11:00am, Provincial Highway 7 is also closed and 383 residents of Fuhsing District, Taoyuan County have been evacuated.

A total of 745 domestic and international flights have been affected with 618 cancellations and 127 flights delayed so far.

collapsed scaffolding Keelung City Typhoon Megi
Scaffolding on a building in Keelung City collapsed at around 10:00am, long before the strongest affects of Typhoon Megi are to be felt in the port city. Photo: UDN

Update: 3:00pm

Casualties

38 people are reported injured.

Power Outages

Over 1 million homes are reported without power, mostly in the central counties.

Water Outages

Due to sediment buildup in the water reservoir on the Hsintien River, water will be cut off at 4:00pm. This will affect residents of Taipei City including Shihlin, Tianmu, Neihu, Hsintien, and Yonghe districts.

Train and Bus Services Suspended

Taiwan Rail has suspended services due to high wind and rain.

Flood Alert

The Water Resources Agency has issued a flood warning for areas of New Taipei City, Hsinchu County, Hualien County, Taoyuan City, Yilan County.

Update 12:30pm

Power Outages

Over 300, 000 households have been affected by power outages, with 210, 000 still without power after repairs. Most outages occurred in Taichung and Changhua Counties. Outages have also been reported in Ilan County, Hualien County, Miaoli County, and Pingtung County.

MRT Elevated Section Suspended

Line 1 of the Taipei Metro, also known as the Brown Line has been suspended due to high winds. Underground lines are operating as normal.

Cinemas closed

Viewshow has canceled screenings due to the danger posed to staff and public if they go out in the gale-force winds pounding the capital Taipei and other districts.

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