TAIPEI – Taiwan was preparing on Tuesday for the arrival of Typhoon Talim which, according to current forecasts, will pass near the north of the island on Wednesday.
Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issued a sea warning and announced that Talim will begin to affect Taiwan with strong winds and rains on Wednesday morning, and later during the night its eye will pass near heavily populated areas in the northern part of the island.
The newly appointed Prime Minister Lai Ching-te has convened a special government meeting and authorized the activation of the emergency operations center in cooperation with local authorities.
Markets on Tuesday were crowded with long lines of people waiting to buy goods ahead of Talim’s arrival, as it is feared that the storm could destroy crops and cause the price of fruits and vegetables to soar.
“Prices have already been doubled and there has not been even a breeze from the typhoon,” a housewife who was lined up in a long queue in front of a greengrocer’s shop in Taipei told EFE.
The damage Talim could cause depends on its pathway, but given past experiences there are fears of power outages as well as floods and landslides.
The government has already started evacuating residents in areas at risk of flooding or landslides, and is monitoring the levels of rivers and reservoirs.
Talim, which intensified from a tropical storm to typhoon on Monday, is still about 1,000 kilometers east of Taiwan and is moving toward the island at a speed of about 31 kilometers per hour, with sustained winds of about 120 km/h, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said.
Pacific typhoons hit Taiwan annually, causing not only heavy losses in agriculture and infrastructure but also casualties, especially typhoon Morakot, which in 2009 caused some 700 deaths and affected the image and popularity of the then government.