As Typhoon Khanun rapidly gained strength and intensified to the second-strongest typhoon level, Taiwan’s weather bureau closely monitored its trajectory towards the country’s northeastern coast. With maximum winds reaching an alarming 198 kph (123 mph), authorities and residents braced for its potentially devastating impact. As of 9:15 A.M. Taipei time (0115 GMT), the typhoon’s eye was positioned approximately 360 km off Taipei in the East China Sea, moving at a slow pace of around 5 kph. Meteorologists predicted that the storm would graze Taiwan’s northern coast late on Thursday before executing a sharp turn to the northeast on Friday.
This projected path raised concerns about potential heavy rainfall, particularly in mountainous central Taiwan, where up to 0.6 meters (2 feet) of precipitation was expected. Mountains near Taipei were also at risk of receiving up to 0.3 meters of rain. Anticipating the typhoon’s arrival, authorities took precautionary measures to protect lives and property. In northern cities, including the capital Taipei, businesses and schools were shut down, and public transportation services, such as subway services, were reduced. Additionally, nearly 40 international flights were canceled, and all domestic ferry lines were suspended, affecting travel plans for many.
Taiwan’s stock and foreign exchange markets also closed in response to the approaching storm, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation. Moreover, hundreds of soldiers were placed on standby in nearby cities to facilitate swift disaster response efforts if required. Notably, Typhoon Khanun’s impact was not limited to Taiwan alone. Earlier in the week, it struck Japan’s popular tourist destination, Okinawa, causing significant damage. Over 200,000 households lost electricity, and tragically, one man lost his life due to the typhoon’s force.
The timing of Typhoon Khanun was particularly concerning as it followed closely behind the heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Doksuri just a week prior. The back-to-back typhoons compounded challenges for the affected regions, making disaster response and recovery efforts more complex. As Typhoon Khanun continued its approach, authorities urged residents to remain vigilant and follow safety guidelines to mitigate risks. The potential for severe rainfall, strong winds, and potential flooding raised alarm bells, highlighting the importance of preparedness and community resilience in the face of natural disasters.