Taipei City, New Taipei City and Keelung City in the north announced the decision to shut down offices and schools at 8 p.m. Thursday after most of the central part of the island had reached similar conclusions. Kaohsiung, the largest city in the south also decided to do so.
The only areas to rule against closures were the islands of Kinmen and Matsu close to the coast of China’s province of Fujian. Offices and schools there would operate normally during the morning, though a decision on what to do about Friday afternoon would follow, reports said.
In the meantime, at least 11 cities and counties, mostly in the center of the country but both on the east and the west coast, announced closures of offices and schools for Friday.
Hualien County and Taitung County came first, since they were expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon, which was expected to make landfall on the east coast during the night.
Mountainous Nantou County, populous Taichung City and Changhua County followed suit.
In the northwest, Taoyuan City, where airlines cancelled or brought forward numerous flights in and out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County and Miaoli County also declared Friday a day off.
Pingtung County at Taiwan’s southern tip and Penghu County in the Taiwan Strait halfway between the island and China also decided to close offices and schools on Friday.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, the eye of the super typhoon was located 190 kilometers east-southeast of Taitung, and moving west-northwest to northwest at a speed of between 14 and 17 kilometers per hour. Sustained winds were recorded at 198 kph, with gusts of up to 245 kph, the Central Weather Bureau said.
The impact of the storm was expected to be felt at least until Saturday during daytime, considering the slowing speed of its advance, forecasters said.