Taiwan launched its Central Emergency Operation Center and put it on full alert Monday with Typhoon Megi bearing down on Taiwan and expected to pummel the island on Tuesday.
Premier Lin Chuan (??) was at the center to listen to briefings by relevant authorities on their preparations against the typhoon, and he expressed concern about possible landslides caused by heavy downpours.
He instructed that all necessary preparations be made to minimize the possible damage caused by Megi.
As of 4 p.m. on Monday, meanwhile, nine local governments in the cities of Taichung, Kaohsiung and New Taipei and Pingtung, Hualien, Taitung, Nantou and Chiayi counties had activated their emergency operation centers and also put them on the highest alert.
Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong (???) advised all relevant authorities to treat Typhoon Megi as if they were faced with a formidable enemy, given the storm's big scale that will put all of Taiwan under its influence.
According to Central Weather Bureau data, Megi was centered 510 kilometers east-southeast of Hualien as of 4 p.m., moving at 22 kilometers per hour in a west-northwesterly direction toward Taiwan.
The 17th typhoon in the Pacific region this year was carrying maximum sustained winds of 155 kph, with gusts of up to 191 kph.
It was still growing in strength on Monday afternoon, and its storm radius had entered the Bashi Channel and waters off southeast Taiwan.
Megi continued to approach Taiwan's east coast, and will likely pose a threat to eastern Taiwan counties along with New Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu County in the north and areas south of Miaoli County, the weather bureau said.
The bureau predicted that mountainous areas in Yilan and Hualien will receive up to 900 mm of rainfall during the 72 hours from Sept. 26 to 28 when Megi affects Taiwan.
A land warning for the typhoon was issued by the weather bureau Monday morning, following a sea warning overnight.
Megi is likely to make landfall in an area near the border of Hualien and Taitung counties in eastern Taiwan on Tuesday before sweeping across the island with powerful winds and heavy rain and moving out to sea that night, according to the weather bureau.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel