Taiwan braces for Typhoon Tembin's return

Island's residents in fear as Tembin heads back, while Bolaven threatens mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 3:31am


Taiwan was bracing for the likely return of Typhoon Tembin early today. Forecasts suggested it might hit the same area where only days ago it unleashed the worst rains in over a century.

Meanwhile, the mainland is also preparing for the landfall of Typhoon Bolaven, which could come as early as today.

It is rare in Taiwan for a typhoon to return and make a second landfall, happening roughly once in a decade, and local residents were anxious as they prepared for the eventuality.

"We've already been hit by the worst flooding in a century," said Tsai Chun-fang, an official from the township of Hengchun, which saw more than 600mm of rainfall within a 24-hour span late last week.

"We're really worried that the typhoon might return, because we haven't fully recovered yet."

Hundreds of soldiers were dispatched over the weekend to Hengchun, at the southernmost tip of the island, to help people clean up their homes after Tembin forced more than 8,000 people to evacuate.

At 6.15pm Tembin was 190 kilometres west-southwest of southern Taiwan, according to the Central Weather Bureau. With a radius of 180 kilometres, the typhoon was packing winds of up to 119km/h and moving northeast at up to 20km/h.

"Tembin sped up slightly over the past few hours and is expected to make landfall early on Tuesday if it stays on this path," said a weather bureau official.

In Liaoning province, the Shenyang meteorological centre forecast Bolaven would make landfall around Dandong city and northwest North Korea this evening.

Xinhua reported ferry services on the Dandong section of the Yalu River, on the border between North Korea and China, had been suspended.

Bolaven was also expected to bring strong winds and rainstorms to the eastern provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu , as well as Shanghai, yesterday and today, according to the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre.