In recent days, Taiwan found itself in the path of Typhoon Haikui, a powerful storm that made landfall in the mountainous and sparsely populated southeast region of the country. As the first direct hit in four years, the typhoon prompted authorities to take swift action, evacuating thousands of residents and implementing precautionary measures. In this article, we will delve into the impact of Typhoon Haikui on Taiwan, the evacuation efforts, and the steps taken to ensure the safety of the population.
Typhoon Haikui began its journey towards Taiwan, making landfall in Taitung county on the east coast. With sustained winds of 155 kph (96 mph) and gusts reaching 190 kph (120 mph), the storm brought heavy rainfall and strong winds that wreaked havoc in the region. Unsecured doors were forced open, trees were uprooted, and flooding occurred in low-lying areas.
Fortunately, there were no reports of serious injuries or extensive damage. The prompt response from the authorities and the cooperation of residents helped mitigate the potential impact of the typhoon.
“There appeared to be little serious damage, and some shops remained open, partly to dispose of locally grown fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste.”New York Post
As a proactive measure, the Taiwanese government initiated evacuation efforts to ensure the safety of its citizens. Mountain communities at high risk of landslides and flooding were particularly targeted for evacuation. By Sunday evening, nearly 4,000 people had been relocated to designated shelters such as school gymnasiums and public meeting halls. These facilities provided essential supplies, including food and drink, as well as sleeping mats for the evacuees.
The Interior Ministry played a key role in coordinating the evacuation process, ensuring that vulnerable communities were prioritized and adequately supported. Families took necessary precautions and brought their essentials to the shelters, preparing for any potential challenges that might arise in the aftermath of the storm.
Impact on Infrastructure and Services
The forceful winds and torrential rains brought by Typhoon Haikui led to power outages in Taitung and Hualien counties along the east coast. Approximately 75,000 homes temporarily lost electricity, causing inconvenience to the affected residents. However, power restoration efforts were promptly initiated, ensuring that the disruption was kept to a minimum.
Transportation services were also significantly affected by the typhoon. Flights, both domestic and international, were canceled in anticipation of the storm. Taiwanese airlines took proactive measures to prioritize the safety of passengers and crew. Additionally, ferry services to surrounding islands were suspended temporarily, further limiting travel options during the typhoon.
Cancellation of Events and Precautionary Measures
In light of the approaching typhoon, several events and activities were canceled across Taiwan. A hot air balloon festival in the central Taichung region, outdoor concerts, art events, and even a baseball game were among the casualties of the storm. National parks and treacherous mountain roads were closed to prevent any accidents or mishaps.
The Taiwanese government also advised residents to stay home and avoid activities that could potentially put them at risk. President Tsai Ing-wen emphasized the importance of avoiding coastal areas, going up mountains, fishing, and engaging in water sports during the storm. These precautionary measures were crucial in ensuring the safety of the population and minimizing potential casualties.
Twin Storms: Haikui and Saola
Interestingly, Typhoon Haikui arrived in Taiwan while Typhoon Saola continued to weaken along the Chinese coast. Typhoon Saola had already hit Hong Kong and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, prompting evacuation efforts and precautionary measures in those areas. Despite the severity of Typhoon Saola, Taiwan managed to prepare effectively for the arrival of Typhoon Haikui.
China, too, faced challenges due to the twin storms. Heavy rains and flooding had already plagued the country, causing significant damage and loss of life. However, China’s military continued to conduct operations near Taiwan, indicating ongoing tensions between the two regions. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry remained vigilant, closely monitoring the movements of Chinese military aircraft and navy ships around the island.
As Typhoon Haikui made landfall in Taiwan, the country demonstrated its resilience and preparedness in the face of natural disasters. Evacuation efforts, the cooperation of residents, and the implementation of precautionary measures played a crucial role in minimizing the potential impact of the storm. While disruption to infrastructure and services occurred, the overall damage was relatively limited, and there were no reports of serious injuries. Taiwan’s proactive approach serves as a testament to its commitment to the safety and well-being of its citizens in times of crisis.
Through effective disaster management, Taiwan continues to set an example for other regions prone to typhoons and natural disasters. As the island nation recovers from Typhoon Haikui, it remains steadfast in its readiness to face future challenges and protect its population from the forces of nature.
Additional Information: The Taiwanese government’s emphasis on preparedness and evacuation efforts showcases their commitment to ensuring the safety of their citizens. By closely monitoring the movements of Chinese military aircraft and navy ships, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry is actively safeguarding the island’s sovereignty.