TAIPEI (CNA) — Typhoon Mitag is strengthening as it approaches Taiwan, carrying strong winds and torrential rains, which are expected to affect the northern and northeastern areas of the country until Tuesday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Monday.
As of 12:15 a.m. Monday, Mitag was located 290 kilometers south-southeast of Yilan County, moving in a north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 27 kilometers per hour, the CWB said.
With a radius of 180 kilometers, the typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 126 kph and gusts of up to 162 kph, according to the bureau.
The storm, which has developed into a typhoon, is gaining strength as it approaches Taiwan, and on its current path, will pass closer to northern and northeastern Taiwan than was earlier predicted, the bureau said.
As of Monday morning, the northern half of Taiwan, Nantou County, areas north of Taichung, Taitung County, and Matsu Island were already being affected by the outer bands of the typhoon, the CWB said.
By early Monday afternoon, the winds are expected to pick up and the rain will increase in Yilan, Hualien and northern Taiwan, the bureau said, warning people living in those areas to be on the alert.
It warned that in some areas of Yilan and northern Taiwan, winds of 9-10 on the intensity scale can be expected Monday afternoon, strengthening to 11-12 during the night.
On the extended version of the Beaufort scale that Taiwan uses, level 9-10 indicates winds of 76-103/kph and 11-12 means 104-132/kph.
As the storm moves toward the northwest, its effects will lessen in Hualien and Taitung by Monday evening, but the winds and rains will continue in northern and central parts of the country until Tuesday morning, the bureau said.
Meanwhile, daytime temperatures of 25-28 degrees Celsius can be expected in northern Taiwan on Monday, dropping to lows of 23-25 degrees at night, the bureau said.
In central and southern Taiwan, the CWB said, the temperature will rise to highs of 30-32 degrees.
By Chang Hsiung-feng and Joseph Yeh