Taiwan evacuates tourists ahead of third storm in two weeks

2016-09-26 10:54
This Nasa satellite image shows Typhoon Megi in the western Pacific. (Nasa,AFP)

This Nasa satellite image shows Typhoon Megi in the western Pacific. (Nasa,AFP)

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Taipei - Taiwan evacuated thousands of tourists from outlying islands on Monday and set up nearly 100 shelters across the island as it braced for its third typhoon in two weeks.

The east coast is still reeling from damage caused by Super Typhoon Meranti earlier this month - the strongest storm for 21 years to hit Taiwan - followed by Typhoon Malakas.

The same part of the island is in the firing line again from approaching Typhoon Megi, which is already bringing strong winds and waves.

It is due to make landfall on the east coast on Tuesday and forecast to bring almost a metre of rain to some areas over three days.

Ferries to Taiwan's Green Island and Orchid Island were halted on Monday after more than 3 700 visitors were evacuated over the weekend.

A 700-ton crane was blown over on Monday at a harbour in the eastern area of Hualien. It crushed a nearby building but no one was injured.

More than 35 000 soldiers are on standby to help with disaster relief and 92 shelters are open for residents.

Megi currently packs gusts of up to 191 kilometres per hour.

"The storm eye will be closest around noon tomorrow, affecting Taiwan the whole day," Lin Chih-hui, a forecaster at Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, told AFP.

"There is still a chance it might strengthen," she said.

Mountainous regions in the north-eastern county of Yilan and Hualien - already hit by the previous storms - could be lashed by up to 900 millimetres of rain through Wednesday, increasing the risk of landslides, the bureau said.

Read more on:    taiwan  |  weather

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