Whether Goni will make land­fall in Tai­wan will be clar­i­fied to­day

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Whether or not Typhoon Goni will strike Tai­wan will likely be clar­i­fied to­day, the Cen­tral Weather Bureau (CWB) an­nounced yesterday.

West­bound Goni will pos­si­bly head north ear­lier than pre­vi­ously ex­pected along Tai­wan’s east coast, ac­cord­ing to the CWB. The storm is ex­pected to make a north­bound shift in di­rec­tion on Fri­day, with ac­com­pa­ny­ing sea warn­ings is­sued for Thurs­day or Fri­day. Land warn­ings are also ex­pected to be an­nounced.

The storm’s cen­ter was re­ported to be ap­prox­i­mately 1,600 kilo­me­ters off Elu­anbi, the south­ern­most tip of Tai­wan, mov­ing at speeds of 29 kilo­me­ters per hour in a west­north­west­erly di­rec­tion. Goni’s max­i­mum sus­tained winds were re­ported at 173 kilo­me­ters per hour, with gusts at 209 kilo­me­ters per hour.

CWB Chief Shin Tzay-chyn (

) stated that the storm’s path was more east­bound than pre­vi­ous data in­di­cated, re­fer­ring to the latest in­for­ma­tion avail­able as of press time. If Goni makes its north­bound turn too late, at a smaller an­gle or as part of a larger storm sys­tem, it will more likely pass through Tai­wan’s eastern wa­ters, or brush past the north­east­ern tip of Tai­wan, Shin said.

Thurs­day is a crit­i­cal stage for the typhoon — whether Goni will make its way north will be de­ter­mined then, me­te­o­rol­ogy ex­pert Peng Chim­ing ( ) said. Peng es­ti­mated that the storm will make its turn on Fri­day, and pass through Tai­wan’s eastern wa­ters over the week­end.

Goni is cur­rently near­ing the up­per lim­its in its cat­e­go­riza­tion as a medium-level trop­i­cal cy­clone, CWB data showed. It is likely that the storm will be up­graded to a se­vere typhoon.

Preven­tion Mea­sures Upped

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments

are

also scram­bling to set up pre­ven­tive mea­sures be­fore Typhoon Goni nears Tai­wan, cre­at­ing tense sit­u­a­tions es­pe­cially for the Soude­lor­bat­tered ar­eas.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) an­nounced pre­cau­tion­ary evac­u­a­tions in the moun­tain­ous ar­eas of Wu­lai, Xin­dian, and Sanxia — all dis­tricts that saw se­vere dam­age from Typhoon Soude­lor and likely to be sur­rounded by and sit­ting on loose soil, mak­ing these ar­eas more sus­cep­ti­ble to land­slides.

Ef­forts to clear Wu­lai’s only road link­ing the dis­trict to the out­side ar­eas is still cur­rently un­der­way, Chu said.

For Taipei City, which saw the top­pling of trees city-wide from the strong Soude­lor winds, the Public Works Depart­ment ( ) has had its Parks and Street Lights Of­fice re­in­force trees likely to be blown over. The mea­sures are ex­pected to be fin­ished be­fore Satur­day.

The progress of re­mov­ing downed trees lo­cated along the road­sides of the city’s down­town ar­eas have now been 70 per­cent com­plete, Public Works Depart­ment Di­rec­tor Peng Jhen-sheng ( ) said, while 65 per­cent of trees si­t­u­ated in parks have been re­stored.

Based on the re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with Soude­lor, Peng stated that the depart­ment has pre­pared nine mo­bile 12-inch wa­ter-pump­ing ma­chines, 40 mo­bile four-inch wa­ter­pump­ing ma­chines, 133 sub­mersible wa­ter pumps, five trucks and 5,910 empty sand­bags.

Sim­i­lar pre­ven­tive mea­sures are still go­ing on in Miaoli County’s spe­cial in­dus­trial zone where the High Speed Rail­way runs through Hou­long Dis­trict, where ap­prox­i­mately 2,700 tress fell due to Soule­dor, mak­ing up for 4 per­cent of fallen tress in the county alone.

CNA

Taipei City Park and Street Lights Of­fice work­ers re­store a fallen tree yesterday. Taipei City’s Public Works Depart­ment is in­creas­ing its pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures to strengthen trees as the medium-level Typhoon Goni con­tin­ues on its ex­pected route to­ward Tai­wan.

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