Powerful typhoon approaching northern Philippines, Taiwan



AGENCIES

Published — Saturday 21 September 2013

Last update 21 September 2013 4:48 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

TAIPEI/HONG KONG: The most powerful typhoon of the year was approaching the northern Philippines and southern Taiwan on Friday with ferocious wind gusts of up to 305 km per hour. It was expected to skirt both regions, with authorities warning of torrential rains and destructive winds.
Super Typhoon Usagi had maximum sustained winds of 250 kph on Friday afternoon and was about 665 km southeast of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, according to the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center. A storm achieves super typhoon status when its sustained winds are at least 240 kph.
“It is the strongest typhoon in the west Pacific region this year,” a weather forecaster at the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau told AFP.
Philippine authorities evacuated some 240 people in the northern agricultural province of Tarlac, while ferries were restricted to their ports, stranding traveLlers.
A signal four alert was issued for the Batanes island group in the extreme north of the country, warning large trees could be uprooted, plantations flattened and power and communications infrastructure knocked out.
Emergency relief services were also put on heightened alert, with the Red Cross already stockpiling first aid kits and food packs in some areas. “Damage to affected communities can be very heavy,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said. “The situation is potentially very destructive to communities. All travel and outdoor activities should be canceled.”
The country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Usagi would cause intense rainfall of 10-20 mm per hour within a 700-km range.
Hong Kong officials warned of worsening weather in the southern Chinese territory.
“Weather will deteriorate significantly with strengthening winds and rough seas,” the Hong Kong observatory said. Its tropical cyclone track map showed the storm would hit the city after 8:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Sunday.
The typhoon is expected to be downgraded to “severe” by the time it makes landfall in the territory, according to the observatory, still enough to stop metro and ferry services and curtail air travel.
Typhoon Usagi is set to brush the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday morning, expected to bring fierce winds and torrential rains, possibly leading to landslides.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry deployed more than 1,600 soldiers in “high risk” areas prone to flooding and landslides while placing 24,000 others on standby.
The island’s weather bureau issued a warning to the residents of Taitung, Kaohsiung and the Pingtung areas to take special precautions, as television news footage showed people surfing on waves whipped up by Usagi. Authorities in the southern city of Kaohsiung deflated an 18-meter-tall yellow duck.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ALKHOBAR: A power failure at the King Fahd Causeway on Wednesday night resulted in a massive traffic congestion, even as officials failed to explain the cause of the snag, local media reported.A power outage for 74 minutes on the link between the Kin...
JEDDAH: A female Saudi lawyer was able to get a stay order on a ruling by the general court in Jeddah that awarded custody of a two-year-old girl to her father. She successfully argued to get the court order reversed that gave custody back to the mot...
JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) said that combating harassment cases is part of its responsibility to promote Islamic values and morals in society.“Those harassing women will be brought to book,” s...
RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exerc...
JEDDAH: More than 26 million Umrah pilgrims and worshippers visited the Grand Mosque during the month of Ramadan and in the first few days after Eid Al-Fitr, thanks to a smooth transport arrangement under the guidance of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-...
AL-AHSA: An outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been discovered in cattle in Al-Ahsa which is an area with many cows. All necessary measures have been taken to protect the livestock, said Mahmoud Al-Shuaibi of the Agriculture Department in Al-Ah...
RIYADH: An architectural masterpiece — the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center (KAHC) — in Riyadh is a huge complex dedicated solely to collecting, preserving, promoting and showcasing the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia. The KAHC is a three milli...
RIYADH: The Saudi Blind Society (Kafif) has made all preparations for the three-day workshop for the blind to be held here next week and attended by delegates from various Asian countries.Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Shuwaiman, Kafif director general, th...
JEDDAH: The number of Saudis who took early retirement schemes last year stood at 38,647, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has said. The Eastern Provinces got the lion's share of disbursements for retirees, amounting to SR3.8 bill...
JEDDAH: Meat and poultry topped the list of food items seized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) at the border crossings for violating the health standards in the last two months.Approximately 267,137 kg of unfit meat and poultry were reject...
JEDDAH: Many sponsors and workers of small companies are struggling to get a comparatively cheaper health cover for renewal of iqama (residential permit) as the insurance companies have stopped issuing the same.The passport department has made it com...
RIYADH: Police have detained 11 Indonesian nationals, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah for Umrah a few days back.The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah to assist the group of citizen...
JEDDAH: The National Committee for Bakeries at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said this Haj season would see no shortage in supplies of bakery items.The committee said there was need to increase operational labor by about 20 percent.It confirmed...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal met with leaders of security forces in the region on Thursday to discuss future plans and mechanisms to limit infiltrators from entering the holy sites via land passageways during Haj.During the meeting, he...

Stay Connected

Facebook