Flights disrupted as Typhoon Chanthu approaches Taiwan

Dozens of domestic and international flights have been postponed or cancelled as Typhoon Chanthu continued to move closer and is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds this weekend.

On Saturday, 36 domestic flights have been cancelled with two delayed, while two international and cross-Taiwan Strait flights have also been cancelled, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Among the airlines which saw the impact from the storm, EVA Airways, one of the leading international carriers in Taiwan, said it has cancelled several flights scheduled for Sunday, including the routes for Taipei-Singapore, Taipei-Osaka, Taipei-Tokyo, Taipei-Hong Kong, Taipei-Macau, Taipei-Shanghai, Taipei-Seoul, Taipei-San Francisco, Taipei-Houston and Taipei-Paris.

China Eastern Airlines, meanwhile, said it has also cancelled flights scheduled to fly between Taipei and Shanghai on Sunday.

UNI Airways and Mandarin Airlines, two of the major domestic carriers, also cancelled all of their flights scheduled for Sunday.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, Typhoon Chanthu was located about 130 kilometers south-southeast of Taiwan’s southern tip Eluanbi, moving north at a speed of 13-20 km per hour.

The typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 173 km per hour, with gusts of up to 209 km per hour, CWB data showed.

The CWB issued a land warning Friday afternoon and a sea warning early Friday morning.

It said the radius of the storm touched Eluanbi at around 9 a.m. after it entered the Bashi Channel, south of the country, early Saturday morning.

In addition to the air traffic, sea and land transportation in Taiwan have also been affected.

A total of 46 ferry trips on seven routes have been canceled Saturday, including the Keelung-Matsu route, Matsu’s Nangan-Dongyin route, Pingtung’s Donggang- Xiaoliuqiu route, and Pingtung’s Yenpu-Xiaoliuqiu route, according to the Maritime Port Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railways Administration announced trains on its South Link Line will be gradually canceled starting Saturday afternoon, while trains running in western and eastern Taiwan will remain intact.

Residents in eastern and southern Taiwan have been warned of heavy rain by the CWB.

The CWB on Saturday imposed a heavy rain advisory for Hualien and Taitung counties in the east, and Pingtung County in the south, saying the warning also covered the Hengchun Peninsula, Green Island and Orchid Island.

The bureau said the heavy rain advisory will remain in effect into Saturday night.

Under the CWB’s advisory system, a heavy rain alert indicates likely accumulated rainfall of 80 millimeters or more over a 24-hour period.

The CWB said the strength of the precipitation in eastern and southern Taiwan will be stronger Saturday night, and rain will start to affect all of the country on Sunday, when momentum will accelerate.

Due to the storm, strong winds are expected for the Hengchun Peninsula, Green Island and Orchid Island as well as areas north of Taoyuan and outlying Matsu and Kinmen islands, while high waves are possible along the coastal areas, the CWB said.

After taking into consideration the possible strong impact from Chanthu, the Taitung County Government announced government offices and schools will be closed Saturday afternoon.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel