North, East Taiwan warned of floods as Jelawat nears
September 28, 2012, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI -- The Central Weather Bureau issued a sea warning for Typhoon Jelawat yesterday, saying the storm's impact on Taiwan could be greatest during the night.
As of 5:00 p.m., Jelawat was centered about 380 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, moving in a north northwesterly direction at a speed of 14 km per hour.
The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 191 kph, with gusts of up to 234 kph, the bureau said.
Jelawat will be closest to Taiwan on Friday, then is expected to veer northeast along Taiwan's East Coast toward Japan, the bureau said.
It warned residents of Northern and Eastern Taiwan to be on the alert for sudden downpours and flooding.
Heavy rainfall is forecast in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan County, Yilan County and Hualien County, according to the weather bureau. Meanwhile, the effects of the storm were already being felt Thursday evening on Orchid Island off Taiwan's Southeast Coast. Braced for winds of up to 200 kph, the entire island had lost power at around 6 p.m. and its airport was closed.
The bureau said it may also issue a land warning for Taiwan proper Thursday night, depending on whether the periphery of Jelawat is likely to reach land areas.
Military Ready for Typhoon Assistance
The military said Thursday that it has opened an emergency center and has mobilized thousands of servicemen for disaster relief operations as Typhoon Jelawat approached Taiwan.
Early that day, the Central Weather Bureau issued a sea warning for Jelawat, forecasting increasing wind and rainfall in Northern and Eastern Taiwan from that day. The storm was expected to be at its closest to Taiwan between Friday and Saturday before veering northeast toward Japan, it added.
More than 48,000 servicemen have been placed on standby to provide relief and rescue assistance, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.
Two S-70C rescue helicopters, 19 UH-1H choppers and one C-130 transport plane were also ready to be dispatched as needed, the statement said, adding that 435 water pumps were also ready to be deployed.