x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Taiwan shuts central, southern areas as tropical storm approaches

Schools and businesses in central and southern regions closed, sea and land warnings issued as Tropical Storm Talim approaches from the southwest.

TAIPEI // Taiwan shut schools and businesses in central and southern regions, issued sea and land warnings, and put its industrial parks on alert as Tropical Storm Talim approaches from the southwest. Financial markets remain open.

Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung cities were ordered closed today while northern areas including Taipei, Hsinchu, Taoyuan and Keelung will remain open, the Central Personnel Administration said on its Website at 8am today. Land and sea warnings were in effect, with the Central Weather Bureau advising of heavy rain and possible landslides across most of Taiwan.

Taiwan's Cabinet instructed the economics ministry to speed up pumping stations while the Taipei City government shut access to riverside car parks and closed its Maokong tourist gondola as the weather bureau warned that rainfall may reach 1,500mm. Science park administrators set up emergency response and relief centres, advising tenants to beware of flooding and possible power shortages.

Talim, with sustained winds of 83 kilometres per hour gusting to 108 kilometres per hour, was centered 220 kilometres southwest of the outlying island of Penghu and heading northeast at 33 kilometres to 42 kilometres per hour as of 8.30am local time today, the Central Weather Bureau said on its Website.