Taiwan lifts land, sea warnings for Tropical Storm Bailu

Kinmen shuts down schools and offices Sunday morning

Tropical Storm Bailu triggered huge waves in Taiwan (CNA photo)

Tropical Storm Bailu triggered huge waves in Taiwan (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) lifted its land and sea warnings for Tropical Storm Bailu at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively on Sunday (Aug. 25) while cautioning about heavy rainfall in the eastern part of Taiwan.

As of 8 a.m., Bailu was centered 140 kilometers west-southwest of the outlying islands of Kinmen and moving in a northwesterly direction at 20 kilometers per hour. The storm is heading towards Fujian province in southeastern China.

Downpours are expected in the mountainous areas of Taitung County due to the effects of the storm's periphery, CWB forecast. Chances of torrential rain are still high for Kinmen and the southern part of Taiwan, including Hualien and Penghu counties.

A 19-year-old motorist in Tainan died from injuries caused by fallen trees uprooted in strong winds late on Saturday (Aug. 24), reported the Central News Agency. The casualty was in addition to injuries sustained in the wake of the storm by nine residents across the island, reports suggested.

At least 30 planes failed to land in Taiwan on Saturday night due to gusts from the storm, prompting them to be diverted to nearby airports in Hong Kong and the Ryukyu Islands. An estimated 5,000 passengers were affected, said CNA.

Rescue effort in Taitung (CNA photo)

Earlier report:

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tropical Storm Bailu only spent three hours crossing the southern tip of Taiwan Saturday (August 24) afternoon, but torrential rain and strong winds were expected to last for the rest of the day, especially in the south, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The storm made landfall in Manzhou, Pingtung County, on the southwest coast around 1 p.m. and spent longer than expected on land until it moved into the Taiwan Strait from Kaohsiung City after 4 p.m., the Central News Agency reported.

The storm left two injured in its wake, both in Taitung County, though precise details about the circumstances were not immediately available.

The worst-hit areas were the east coast, mainly the counties of Taitung and Hualien, reports said. The heaviest rainfall was the 500 milliliters recorded on Liushidan Mountain near Fuli in Hualien County, a location usually drawing many sightseers for its orange daylily blossoms. A total of 14 people were stuck on the mountain for a while after the road down was made impassable by mudslides.

By 7 p.m. on Saturday, the eye of the storm had moved to a point 110 kilometers west-northwest of Kaohsiung and was continuing on a west-northwesterly course at a speed of 24 km per hour.

For Sunday (August 25), Kinmen announced its schools and offices would be closed during the morning, while seven townships in Taitung County said classes and work cancellations would remain valid all day long. Updates on closures can be followed at this table from the government's personnel agency.

Land warnings were still in force for areas in central Taiwan's Nantou County and everything to the south, as well as the islands of Kinmen, Penghu, Orchid Island and Green Island. Media reports said the land warnings might not be ended until Sunday (August 25) morning at the earliest.