Taiwan issued a maritime warning and airlines cancelled some flights on Wednesday as the island braced for Typhoon Talim، which was expected to hit cities including the capital Taipei، before hurtling towards China potentially as a super typhoon، Bangkok post reported.
Talim was expected to gain in strength as it sweeps towards Taiwan's northern cities، including New Taipei، lashing them with strong wind and heavy rain، the Central Weather Bureau said on Wednesday.
Its greatest impact would be felt later on Wednesday and on Thursday، the bureau said on its website، when it was expected to slam into the north and northeast with maximum sustained wind speeds of 137 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 173kph.
It had not yet been determined whether the Taiwan government would close financial markets، companies or schools on Thursday. An announcement would be made later on Wednesday if closures were considered necessary.
China Airlines and EVA Airways، Taiwan's two largest carriers، said they would cancel some inbound and outbound international flights scheduled for later on Wednesday. A warning for sea traffic was also issued by the Central Weather Bureau.
Formosa Petrochemical Corp، Taiwan's second-biggest oil supplier، said it had prepared to close its supply port if necessary as Talim approached، although it was waiting for a government directive.
Typhoons are a seasonal routine for Taiwan، but the island has enhanced its preparations and been on guard against the potential for severe and deadly typhoons since Typhoon Morakat devastated the island in 2009.
Morakat was the deadliest typhoon to hit the island in recorded history، killing close to 700 people، most of them in landslides.
As early as Thursday night، Talim could make landfall along the northern coast of Zhejiang province on the Chinese mainland as a strong typhoon، packing gusts of up to 48 metres per second، China Meteorological Administration said in a statement on Wednesday.
Talim could strengthen into a super typhoon with winds of 52 metres per second in the late afternoon on Thursday just before making landfall in Zhejiang.