Taipei-The governments of Hsinchu City and Miaoli County announced Monday the closure of schools and offices from 6 p.m., as Typhoon Mitag approached Taiwan, carrying strong winds and heavy rain.
The decision by the Hsinchu City government came after it received complaints about its announcement Sunday night that schools and offices would remain open Monday.
On Sunday, the governments of the neighboring Hsinchu County and Taoyuan, Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung cities, decided to call a typhoon day Monday, but the Hsinchu City government did not follow suit.
The decision drew criticisms from Hsinchu residents, one of whom complained on the Facebook page of the city's Mayor Lin Chih-chien (???) that it would be difficult for parents in the city whose children go to school in Hsinchu County.
Lin said, however, that the city government's decision was based on the forecasts by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and assessments by the Hsinchu City Fire Department.
When the city government decided at 10 p.m. Sunday to maintain a normal workday on Monday, the storm was not close enough to warrant a typhoon day, he said.
According to the latest CWB forecast, however, Typhoon Mitag is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain later Monday as it moves closer to Hsinchu, therefore, the city government decided to close offices and schools with effect from 6 p.m., Lin said.
The neighboring Miaoli County made a similar decision, while Hualien County Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei (???) had already announced at 7 a.m. Monday that it would be a typhoon day.
On Monday, the storm knocked out power in 10,648 households in Taiwan, mainly in Taitung County and Taoyuan City, but as of noon, power had been restored to 6,630 of them, according to Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).
Meanwhile, the Danhai Light Rail Transit line in New Taipei's Tamsui District will suspend service starting 6 p.m. Monday, the city's Metro Corp. said.
Typhoon Mitag has continued to strengthen as it moves toward eastern and southeastern Taiwan and could pose a threat to areas north of Taichung, as well as Nantou, Hualien and Taitung counties, and the offshore Matsu County, according to the CWB.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Mitag was located 210 kilometers southeast of Yilan, moving in a north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour, the CWB said.
With a radius of 180 kilometers, the typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 126 kph and gusts of up to 162 kph, according to the bureau.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel