| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Typhoon Haikui prompts Taiwan to evacuate thousands, cancel flights

Domestic flights were canceled, and almost 3,000 people were evacuated, as Taiwan braced for Typhoon Haikui’s arrival on Sunday, which is predicted to deliver torrential rain and powerful gusts to the island’s south and east.

Haikui is expected to make landfall late Sunday afternoon in Taiwan’s hilly and sparsely populated far southeast. Counties and towns in the east and south canceled classes and proclaimed a workers’ holiday.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen warned a disaster management gathering that this would be the island’s first storm to make landfall and pass its central mountain range in four years.

People should avoid going out and not go up mountains, to the coast, fishing or engage in water sports, a statement from Tsai’s office quoted her as saying.

Haikui is a much weaker storm than Typhoon Saola which hit Hong Kong and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Saturday. Haikui is expected to be only a Category 1 or 2 typhoon when it hits Taiwan, according to Tropical Storm Risk.

Taiwan’s government said that 2,868 people had already been evacuated, mainly in the south and east.

Taiwan’s two main domestic airlines, UNI Air and Mandarin Airlines, cancelled all flights on Sunday, while ferry services to surrounding islands were cancelled as well.

There was less disruption to international flights, with only 37 cancelled for Sunday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

The military has mobilized soldiers and equipment to help with flood relief and evacuation efforts.

  • Reuters