Taipei-The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has set up a disaster response center and placed more than 34,000 troops on standby, in preparation for the impact of Typhoon Mitag, which is expected to skirt northeastern Taiwan beginning Monday afternoon.
The response center was established at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday and has been coordinating with local governments on disaster preparedness and relief work, the MND said in a statement.
In a meeting held Monday morning, Defense Minister Yen De-fa (???) directed all military units to closely monitor the movement of Mitag and implement necessary measures to minimize any possible damage.
More than 34,000 soldiers, including 135 from the marines and special forces, and 5,100 military vehicles and equipment are currently on standby. In addition, two Amphibious Assault Vehicles and several rubber boats have been moved to Linkou and Su'ao, two areas expected to be hit hard, the MND said.
Meanwhile, soldiers distributed sandbags and conducted evacuation operations with local authorities in two remote townships in the eastern county of Yilan and one in New Taipei City on Monday morning.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Mitag was located at sea about 210 kilometers southeast of Yilan, with its storm circle covered Taiwan's eastern and southeastern land mass.
Mitag was packing maximum sustained winds of 126kph, with gusts of up to 162kph, and moving at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour in a north-northwest direction, the CWB said, adding that it is expected to be located roughly 270km north of Taipei City at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Several local governments announced the suspension of work and classes Monday, due to anticipated heavy rain and flooding.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel