Heavy rain forecast for Taiwan as typhoon nears

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 July, 2013, 10:56am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 July, 2013, 11:36am

Taiwan is alerting residents that an approaching typhoon is threatening to bring strong winds and heavy rains to the island.

The Central Weather Bureau says Typhoon Soulik was at sea Friday morning about 450km southeast of northern Yilan county.

The typhoon weakened slightly overnight but still has winds of 173kph.

The weather bureau forecast heavy rains by noon for northern Taiwan and torrential rains for the south later in the day.

The government said schools and offices will be closed in the afternoon. It said hundreds of soldiers have moved to low-lying and mountainous areas to help with necessary evacuations and rescues.