Typhoon Bailu is currently categorised at the weakest typhoon level by Taiwan’s weather bureau,. But the storm which is expected to approach off the island’s south-eastern coast today, is already wreaking havoc. Amid warnings of landslides, floods and high seas on the island, Taiwan has issued a major weather warning to citizens as shops, businesses and schools were closed and hundreds of flights cancelled.
Hundreds of people were moved to safety, while more than 350 flights were cancelled.
The Central Weather Bureau issued land warnings for the southernmost counties of Taitung and Pingtung on Friday afternoon, with the storm having made landfall in Taitung on Saturday.
The land warnings against strong winds and torrential rain were also valid for Orchid Island, Green Island, and the Hengchun Peninsula, and were extended to include Kaohsiung City and Hualien County, the weather bureau said.
As the tropical storm heads towards land, Taiwan is being battered by strong winds and heavy rain.
Residents and tourists have been warned to stay inside amid dangers of flooding and landslides.
Some 34,000 soldiers have been deployed in the south amid fears of floods.
But it’s not only wet weather that could bring deadly impacts to the country.
Along with heavy rain, one of the results of the approaching tropical storms was the threat of high temperatures.
Even in the north of the island, the mercury was expected to reach 36 degrees.