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Thousands Evacuated as Typhoon Haikui Moves Towards Taiwan


LAHORE MIRROR — Thousands of people were evacuated, hundreds of flights cancelled and businesses closed in Taiwan as authorities prepared Sunday for Typhoon Haikui, the first major storm expected to directly hit the island in four years.

Haikui — which already brought heavy rains by Sunday morning — is forecast to make landfall by 5:00 pm (0900 GMT) in Taitung, a mountainous county in lesser-populated eastern Taiwan.

The storm was around 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of Taiwan just before 9:00 am, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said in a press conference.

“It is expected to pose a considerable threat to most areas in Taiwan with winds, rains and waves,” said deputy director Fong Chin-tzu, urging to public to be “on guard”.

“It has gathered some strength since yesterday,” he said, adding that it would move west to the Taiwan Strait by Monday.

The typhoon was packing a sustained wind speed of about 154 kilometres (95 miles) per hour, prompting more than 200 domestics flights to be cancelled and businesses in the southern and eastern parts of the island to close on Sunday.

“I remind the people to make preparations for the typhoon and watch out for your safety, avoid going out or any dangerous activities,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said.

Authorities said they had evacuated more than 2,800 people across seven cities — the majority from the mountainous county of Hualien, which neighbours Taitung.