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Flights canceled, highways closed for typhoon

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Suhua Highway that connects Suao and Hualien has been closed due to potential landslides and falling rocks that might hit passing vehicles, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) announced yesterday.

The DGH said that vehicles were prohibited from entering the Suhua Highway from 7 p.m. last night, and after all vehicles left the highway, the entire highway was closed down as Typhoon Matmo was expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain.

According to the DGH, Matmo would also bring heavy rain to the mountainous areas in Chiayi, and in order to secure the safety of drivers and passengers, two parts of the Alishan Highway were closed down last night as well.

The DGH said that there are parts of the seven provincial highways that might also be closed down due to the approaching typhoon, including the Central Cross-Island Highway and the Hualien-Taitung Coastal Highway.

Railway Traffic

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) yesterday announced that trains that would pass through Taitung or Hualien were all canceled last night as Matmo was approaching Taiwan faster than expected.

According to the TRA, the Alishan Forest Railway will be closed down today and tomorrow due to the potential danger that Matmo might bring to Taiwan.

Air Traffic

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday said that the schedules of 22 flights have been affected by the impact of the approaching Typhoon Matmo.

According to the airport, seven flights that were scheduled to depart Taiwan and 11 flights that were scheduled to arrive were canceled, while four flights were delayed.

The airport said that to ensure the safety of flights, the officials of the airport will conduct safety checks to see if the wind is too strong or the rain is too heavy, so travelers should confirm with the airlines about the latest updates and flight schedules.

Uni Air yesterday announced that all flights bound for Matsu on Wednesday will be canceled and all the domestic flights with departure times scheduled before 2 p.m. are also canceled on Wednesday as well.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said that strong winds and rogue waves are expected in Eastern and Southwestern Taiwan and on the Hengchun Peninsula of Pingtung County.

The CWB also said that should the speed and route of Typhoon Matmo remain the same, then it will leave the island in the second half of today at the earliest.

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A man is seen on a Hualien beach before he was reported missing, yesterday. Reportedly, the man had gone to the beach for photos and to spot waves before he was probably dragged away by strong waves. (CNA)

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