O The Interior Ministry said more than 2,800 people had been evacuated from seven towns on the island, mainly from the mountainous area of Hualien.
Haikui had already caused heavy rains in the morning, registering winds of around 140 kilometers per hour. The typhoon is expected to hit the Taitung region, neighboring Hualien, at 17:00 (10:00 in Lisbon).
More than 200 domestic flights were canceled and schools and offices were closed in the south and east of the island.
This is expected to be “the first typhoon to hit Taiwan in four years”, said Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
At 09:00 (02:00 in Lisbon), Haikui was about 180 kilometers east of the island, according to the Central Meteorological Office of Taiwan.
“Strengthened a little since yesterday [sábado]”, noted the deputy director of the cabinet, Fong Chin-tzu, at a press conference.
Haikui “is likely to pose a considerable threat to most of Taiwan, with winds, rain and waves,” he warned, adding that the storm would head westwards towards the Taiwan Strait on Monday.
Authorities said they expected Haikui to be less powerful than Saola, which triggered high alert in Macau, Hong Kong and southern China, before losing steam on Saturday.
The last major storm to hit Taiwan was Typhoon Bailu, which caused one death in 2019.
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