Taipei, The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a land warning for Tropical Storm Atsani on Thursday, the first such warning in the country this year.
As of 8 p.m., Atsani was located about 370 kilometers east-southeast of Eluanbi on the southern tip of Taiwan and was veering west-northwest at a speed of 20 km per hour, the CWB said.
The radius of the storm had expanded to 120 km, and it was carrying maximum sustained winds of 101 kph, with gusts of up to 126 kph, the bureau said.
As Atsani enters the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, it could threaten southern and southeastern Taiwan, the CWB warned.
The eye of the storm is forecast to pass close to Eluanbi on Friday night, the bureau said, warning people in Pingtung and Taitung counties to take precautions against strong winds and heavy rain.
Vessels in waters south, southeast and southwest of Taiwan should also stay alert, the CWB said.
Atsani is the first storm of the year to warrant a land warning for Taiwan, and the fifth since 2000 that required storm warnings in the month November, according to the CWB.
The others were Xangsane and Bebinca in 2000, Melor in 2003, and Mitag in 2007, the bureau said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel