Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan has announced that it will close schools and offices on Saturday in anticipation of rough weather from fast-approaching Typhoon Malakas.
Other counties and cities in northern Taiwan are expected to announce later Friday if schools or offices will be closed or remain open on Saturday.
Few signs of the storm were evident in Taipei as of Friday evening.
Meanwhile, TransAsia Airways announced that it has canceled all of its domestic flights to and from Taipei Songshan Airport on Saturday, and flights GE320 and GE319 between Songshan Airport and Chongqing in China will depart three hours earlier than scheduled.
Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of Taiwan's largest carrier China Airlines, said it is also canceling domestic flights operating out of Songshan Airport -- flights AE1261 and AE1262 between Taipei and Kinmen and flights AE391 and AE392 between Taipei and Taitung.
It will also cancel flights AE7931 and AE7932 between Kaohsiung and Hualien but said the rest of its flight schedule will operate as normal.
China Airlines said its flights CI124 and CI125 between Taoyuan International Airport and Japan's Ishigaki Island will be postponed from Saturday to Sept. 18.
The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Typhoon Malakas at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Malakas, the second typhoon to affect Taiwan in a week, is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to eastern and northern Taiwan late Friday and Saturday.
The bureau warned residents in Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Taichung to be on alert.
As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, Malakas was centered some 310 kilometers east of Hengchun Township in the southernmost part of Taiwan, moving at a speed of 19 km per hour in a north-northwesterly direction, bureau data showed.
It is packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kph, with gusts reaching 191 kph, according to the bureau.
Malakas will come just two days after Meranti barreled across southern Taiwan, bringing the strongest gusts the region has seen in decades and some flooding. One man was killed and dozens of others injured because of the typhoon.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel