TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As Tropical Storm Bailu was picking up speed and strength, forecasters warned that Southeast Taiwan’s Taitung County was most likely to bear the brunt of the onslaught Saturday (August 24).
Nevertheless, the presence of a high-pressure area might still influence the final course of the storm, though sea warnings were most likely to be issued Friday (August 23) in the early morning and land warnings during the afternoon.
Sea warnings could come as early as 5:30 a.m. Friday, while the Central Weather Bureau estimated that land warnings could follow at 2:30 p.m.
Meteorologists in different countries also held diverging opinions on where in Taiwan the storm would make landfall, so any area between Yilan County in the northeast and the Hengchun Peninsula at Taiwan’s southern tip was a possibility, the Central News Agency reported.
The reach of Bailu’s winds and its speeds were expanding, forecasters said, indicating that it might just reach the status of typhoon before arriving on the island. Thursday (August 22) afternoon, it was still located about 1,000 kilometers east-southeast from the Hengchun Peninsula, and moving northwest at a speed of 22 km per hour.
Rains were expected to start up Friday night and to last at least all Saturday, reports said.
In order to prepare for disaster relief in the case of flooding and landslides, a total of 34,000 soldiers had been put on standby with 4,200 vehicles and machines at their disposal, according to CNA.