Iconic tree in Taitung ready for tropical storm

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) A landmark bishop wood (bischofia javanica) tree in the southeastern county of Taitung has been well-prepared ahead of a tropical storm's expected landfall in southern Taiwan, local government officials said Saturday. The tree has become arguably Taiwan's best known tree since the summer of 2013, when Japanese Taiwanese star Takeshi Kaneshiro sipped tea in its shade in an EVA Airways TV commercial. The tree, uprooted by strong winds brought by Typhoon Matmo in late July, was replanted in its original location in Chihshang Township one day later after its branches were trimmed. Township chief Lin Wen-tang said it should be able to sustain Tropical Storm Fung-Wong. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Fung-Wong was centered 220 kilometers south-southwest of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, moving in a northerly direction at a speed of 16 kph, the Central Weather Bureau said. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 90 kph, with gusts reaching 119 kph, according to the bureau. The bureau forecast that the tropical storm will make landfall on the coast of southwestern Taiwan early Sunday. (By Lee Hsien-feng and Kuo Chung-han)