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Nation braces for Typhoon Matmo

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- School and work are canceled today in all parts of the nation except Lienchiang County near mainland China due to Typhoon Matmo, which made its landfall this morning, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday.

The local governments of the entire Northern part of Taiwan, including greater Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu, called off class and work on Wednesday.

The Kaohsiung and Pingtung governments also canceled class and work for Wednesday.

The three counties in Eastern Taiwan, Hualien, Yilan and Taitung, announced the cancellation of class and work for Wednesday since the three areas experienced the first impact of Typhoon Matmo last night.

Typhoon Matmo, the first typhoon to directly impact Taiwan this year, made landfall this morning, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.

The CWB added that strong winds and rogue waves are expected in Eastern Taiwan and Southwestern Taiwan and on the Hengchun Peninsula of Pingtung County.

According to the CWB, Matmo continued to strengthen through yesterday morning, and the storm's radius has increased from 180 to 200 kilometers.

Bureau forecaster Lo Ya-yin (羅雅尹) originally predicted that the expected time for the typhoon's outer rainbands (the storm area beyond the eye of the typhoon) to reach the Taiwan coast was at 8 p.m. last night, but Matmo's rainbands reached Hualien at 2 p.m. yesterday.

The CWB said that Yilan and Hualien would enter the rainbands first on Tuesday night, and the northern part of Taiwan would start to be covered by the rainbands on Wednesday morning.

Lo said that last night and today would be the time period in which Matmo hovers over most parts of Taiwan, so people in almost all areas of the nation will feel the strong winds and heavy rain brought by the typhoon.

CWB official Hsieh Ming-chang (謝明昌) said that should the speed and route of Typhoon Matmo remain the same, then the storm will leave the island during the second half of today at the earliest.

According to the CWB, since Matmo is expected to move in a southerly direction, people living in the northern part of Taiwan can expect less heavy rain, but everyone should still be aware of the impact that Matmo will bring.

The CWB warned that almost all areas in Taiwan should expect to have an accumulated precipitation of 350 milimeters in 24 hours from Tuesday night to Wednesday night.

New Tropical Depression Formed: CWB

The CWB announced yesterday that a tropical depression formed 1,500 kilometers east of Typhoon Matmo.

According to the CWB, the new tropical depression formed yesterday afternoon, and officials do not exclude the possibility that the tropical depression will develop into a typhoon in the future.

If the tropical depression turns into a typhoon, the CWB said that it will become the eleventh typhoon this year and will be named Halong.

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Shihmen Reservoir discharges water ahead of Typhoon Matmo's arrival in Taoyuan, yesterday. The Northern Region Water Resources Office said yesterday that the reservoir's water level had reached a high point, and that the reservoir had begun discharging water at rate of 200 cubic meters per second. (CNA)

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