Taiwan issues warning as strong typhoon approaches

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 27, 2011 12:28 PM
Taiwan issues warning as strong typhoon approaches

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has issued a warning to residents of its southern and eastern regions as powerful typhoon Nanmadol approaches after hitting the northern Philippines.

Nanmadol caused flooding and landslides and knocked out power in northern areas of the Philippines, but was weakening as it approached Taiwan.

Taiwan's central weather bureau said the typhoon, with winds of 45 meters per second, is slow moving. The bureau warned of landslides and flooding in mountain areas and of strong winds.

A maritime warning is already in place and ferry services and flights to some outlying islands have been canceled. Southeast China's coastal province of Fujian has ordered local ships to seek harbor due to the approaching storm, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Storm tracking service Tropical Storm Risk currently classifies Nanmadol as Category 4, one below the most serious, but sees it weakening to Category 2 in 72 hours. See http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/.

The storm arrives almost exactly two years after Typhoon Morakot cut a wide path of destruction over southern Taiwan, leaving some 700 people dead or missing and causing some $3 billion of damage.

The government of President Ma Ying-jeou was heavily criticized for a slow response to the disaster. Ma faces presidential elections in January.

(Reporting by Jonathan Standing)