Taiwan stepped up alertness on Monday by issuing a land warning for tropical storm Wipha, which has gained strength in to become a strong typhoon threatening the island, the Central Weather Bureau said.
Packing gusts of 162 kilometres per hour, up from 137 kilometres in the morning, the fringe of Wipha, a Thai female name, is expected to affect the north-eastern and northern Taiwan by Tuesday if it stays its current course, the bureau said.
The typhoon was moving at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour in a north-westerly direction towards the north-eastern coastal county of Ilan. At 2:30 pm (0630 GMT), Wipha was spotted 540 kilometres south-east of the sea off Ilan, the bureau said.
Wipha is expected to bring torrential rains to northern and north-eastern Taiwan, the bureau said, adding residents in mountain areas are advised to take precautions against mud-slides and rock-slides.
The bureau also asked vessels and fishermen to avoid operating or sailing in waters off northern, north-eastern and south-eastern Taiwan. It called on the public not to engage in any sea activities in the east coast due to surging waves.
Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2007, 17:22