Taipei [Taiwan], October 5 (ANI): Typhoon Koinu on Wednesday pounded Taiwan with heavy rain and winds. This led to the closure of businesses and schools in the east and triggered warnings in most parts of the island a day before its expected landfall, forecasters said, The New York Times reported.
The island's Central Weather Administration said that Koinu, which formed over the Pacific Ocean last weekend, was about 105 miles east of Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon.
It was moving west at about 9 miles per hour, carrying maximum sustained winds of 132 m.p.h. and even stronger gusts, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a meteorological service operated by the US Navy.
The storm is expected to make landfall on Taiwan's southeastern coast on Thursday morning, and the island will see the heaviest rainfall on Thursday and Friday, Wu Wan-hua, a meteorologist for Taiwan's weather agency, said at a news conference. Wave heights of more than seven meters, or 23 feet, are expected around the coasts of southern Taiwan, she added.
Koinu's winds were equivalent to those of a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday morning, but were expected to weaken to Category 3 levels before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. After crossing the southern tip of Taiwan, the storm is likely to weaken into a tropical storm, then graze China's southeastern coast later in the week, approaching Hong Kong, as per The New York Times.
The storm's effects were also being felt in parts of the northern Philippines. Officials in that country have issued wind and rain advisories, warning that landslides were possible in mountainous areas.
Koinu follows Typhoon Saola, which disrupted travel and forced schools to close in Taiwan last month, after prompting evacuations in the Philippines. In July, Typhoon Doksuri caused dozens of deaths in the Philippines from flooding and landslides before grazing Taiwan and eventually making landfall in mainland China. (ANI)