Taipei, Ferry services between Taitung, Orchid Island and Green Island were halted Thursday as a result of the approaching Typhoon Mangkhut, which is currently south of Taiwan and moving toward the Philippines.
The services were suspended at noon after ferry operators dispatched an additional three boats to transport 615 passengers from the two outlying islands off Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan.
Although Typhoon Mangkhut is not expected to hit Taiwan directly, weathermen said circulating currents in its periphery will still bring heavy rainfall to mountainous areas of eastern and southern Taiwan from Friday night to Saturday, forcing ferry operators to cancel their services through Saturday.
Ferry companies said the captains of the boats will decide when the ferry services will be resumed, depending on the weather conditions.
Meanwhile, some cultural and artistic activities scheduled for Saturday evening in Taitung have been canceled due to the typhoon, which is forecast to be at its closest to Taiwan from Friday night into Saturday.
Mangkhut, the 22nd Pacific storm this year, was located some 1,270 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost point Eluanbi, as of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, according to the Central Weather Bureau.
Moving northwest at a speed of 21 kilometers per hour, the typhoon was packing sustained winds of 265 kph, with gusts of up to 325 kph, the bureau said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel