Typhoon Chanthu causes traffic disruptions in Taiwan

Heavy rainfall and strong gusts brought by Typhoon Chanthu have caused air, rail and marine traffic disruptions across Taiwan on Sunday, according to transportation authorities.

As of 10 a.m., 141 domestic flights and 35 international flights have been canceled, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

Express trains operating between Taipei and Hualien or Taitung in eastern Taiwan will be suspended until 6 p.m., with local train services available depending on the weather conditions, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

In southern Taiwan, express trains between Taitung and Kaohsiung will also be suspended until around 6 p.m., while services in the western part of the country will largely remain normal, TRA said.

A total of 87 ferry services on 11 routes will also be canceled throughout the day, and the cancellations will mainly affect those traveling between Taiwan and outlying Lienchiang and Penghu counties, as well as Orchid Island, Green Island and Liuqiu Island, said the Maritime and Port Bureau.

As of 11 a.m., Typhoon Chanthu was located about 80 kilometers east-southeast of Yilan, moving north at a speed of 24 km per hour, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 162 km per hour, with gusts of up to 198 km per hour, according to CWB data.

Chanthu's impact had been the most pronounced in eastern Taiwan's Hualien and Taitung counties as of noon, forecasters said, adding that other parts of the country, particularly mountainous areas in northern and central Taiwan, should see torrential rainfall later in the day.

The storm will likely gradually move away from Taiwan from midnight, and the sea warning could be lifted on Monday morning, the bureau said.

In the greater Taipei area, offices and schools have been closed. Major department stores-- including Taipei 101 Mall, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi and Q Square-- have also suspended operation on Sunday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel