Taiwan takes Sunday off for two storms

Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung will shut down offices and schools Sunday

Flooding in Pingtung, one of the areas shutting down Sunday.

Flooding in Pingtung, one of the areas shutting down Sunday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Most of Taiwan, including the major population centers of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung, announced that offices and schools would remain closed Sunday due to the double onslaught of Typhoon Nesat and Tropical Storm Haitang.

Pingtung County was the first region to announce the measure, as it was being battered by floods caused by Typhoon Nesat Saturday and faced being the site for the landing of Tropical Storm Haitang Sunday.

Taiwan’s second city, Kaohsiung, followed suit, and so did Central Taiwan’s major city of Taichung. Mountainous Nantou County, Yilan County in the northeast, which was reeling under the landing of Nesat Saturday evening, and Miaoli County in the northwest, also said their schools and offices would be shut down Sunday.

Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Keelung, which usually act in unison, did not wait until 10 p.m. Saturday but also said schools and offices should be closed.

Changhua,Yunlin, Chiayi City and County, Taitung and the island counties of Penghu and Lienchiang, the latter better known as Matsu, joined in later, and by 9 p.m., Taoyuan, Hsinchu City and County, Tainan and Hualien had also made up their mind to follow suit. Only the offshore island of Kinmen had not issued a decision yet, reports said.

While air traffic could expect further cancellations and delays, high-speed trains were expected to resume service from Sunday noon, with earlier trains possible depending on circumstances at the time, reports said.

Officials said the public should not underestimate the strength of both storms, with flooding, landslides and torrential rain still possible all Sunday at least.

While Nesat landed in the Yilan County harbor town of Suao at 7:10 p.m. Saturday, most reports of drenching rain and flooded streets came from Pingtung at the island’s southern tip.

In addition, while Nesat was expected to cross northern Taiwan overnight, a second tropical storm, Haitang, was racing straight toward Pingtung and could make landfall there on Sunday around noon, forecasters said.