High wind and heavy rain lashed northern and eastern Taiwan on Friday as Typhoon Sinlaku strengthened on its approach.
The weather bureau's latest report this evening said Sinlaku's center was about 230 km east of Hualien off the east coast of the island. The storm was moving northeast at a speed of 8 kph.
The bureau, which updates its report every three hours, said Sinlaku was a slow-moving but strong typhoon and would bring a heavy downpour and strong wind if it hit the island. The rain was likely to be up to 1,300 mm.
The strongest gusts and rain were expected late on Saturday night and Sunday morning, it said.
The whole island was bracing for the storm. Residents in many parts had prepared sandbags to prevent water from getting in their homes, and relevant departments were distributing pumps. Counties including Taipei, Keelung and Ilan announced suspension of work and classes from Friday night or Saturday.
Some of the scenic spots had also taken disaster-prevention measures. The Ali Mountain railway would running on Saturday.
Outdoor celebrations for the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sunday, in Taipei and other cities had also been canceled.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2008)