Taiwan | Flights canceled and schools closed in anticipation of Typhoon Koinu

(Taitung) Taiwanese authorities canceled flights and closed schools in parts of the island’s south ahead of the typhoon’s expected arrival Koinuthe second to hit the territory in a month.

Taiwan experiences frequent tropical storms from May to November, but the typhoon Haikuiin early September, was the first to hit the island in four years, triggering torrential rains, strong winds and forcing nearly 8,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Experts say climate change is making the paths of tropical storms harder to predict while increasing their intensity.

In preparation for the typhoon Koinu due to hit the south of the island on Thursday morning, according to weather services, more than 100 international and domestic flights have been canceled, while ferry services to Taiwan’s outlying islands have been halted.

More than 200 people were evacuated for fear of landslides in the south of the island.

Waves could reach up to seven meters high, according to authorities.

Fishing boats were massed at a port in Pingtung County to protect against the typhoon, while primary schools in the agricultural region of Taitung allowed children to return home earlier than planned.

The previous typhoon “was barely a month ago, and we have another one,” lamented Yang Pi-cheng, 65, to AFP, while waiting to pick up her grandchildren at the Dawang primary school.

A major highway along the coast was also closed as a precaution.

Koinu was located around 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the island and was moving in its direction at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour.

It has already caused heavy rains in the mountainous regions of Yilan and New Taipei City (northeast).

After hitting southern Taiwan, it is expected to head towards the eastern coast of China’s Guangdong province, according to the Hong Kong Meteorological Observatory.

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