Taiwan braces for tropical storm Bailu


Taiwan geared up on Friday for the arrival of Tropical Storm Bailu, expected to bring heavy rains to eastern and southern parts of the island over the weekend, officials said.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Bailu at 2:30 pm (0630 GMT), nine hours after the issuing of a sea warning for both the Bashi Channel and the Taiwan Strait.

According to the bureau, the centre of Bailu, currently 600 kilometres south-east of Taitung, a south-eastern city, is moving at a pace of about 24 kilometres per hour in a north-west direction toward the

Hengchun Peninsula in southern Taiwan.

Bailu continues to grow and intensify and the centre is expected to make landfall in Taitung on Saturday, the bureau said.

On Friday, more than 2,000 tourists were evacuated from offshore Green Island and Orchid Island, which sit off Taitung.

Ferry services between Taiwan’s main island and some offshore islets will be suspended on Saturday, state-run Central News Agency reported.