Taiwan is still recovering from Typhoon Morakot which hit the island on August 8th, killing 600. Typhoon Parma was expected to make landfall on Taiwan this morning but the storm slowed in the Bashi Channel between the Philippines and Taiwan. Continuing updates as available. See update 10-05-09 below.
Parma is expected to make landfall on the Hengchun peninsula in southern Taiwan and The Central Weather Bureau estimates a “medium” typhoon. Northern and eastern Taiwan are warned of heavy rains and strong winds. At 5 a.m. local time, the eye of Parma was located 211 miles (340 km) from Taiwan’s southern tip at Erlupi. Winds speeds were estimated at 78 mph – 100 mph.
To add to the emergency situation, Taiwan was shaken from an early Sunday morning 6.3 earthquake. Mudslides were expected to be more prevalent than usual because of the earthquake-loosened soil. This is the second earthquake in the area measuring over magnitude 6, this year.
Parma, now advancing at about 5 mph, is expected to continue to stall in the Bashi Channel for several days. This report says that Parma will likely not directly affect Taiwan until “Wednesday, or maybe Thursday….” The presence of Typhoon Melor in the area, threatening Japan, has caused the slowing of Parma, enabling the storm to gain strength before it begins moving again.
Typhoon Morakot was the worst storm to hit Taiwan in 50 years, and brought devastating floods and mudslides, killing 178. With Parma on its way, high sea warnings were issued yesterday by the government which was hotly criticized for slow reaction to Morakot. The Taiwan government donated $50,000USD to the Philippines’ reflief efforts after Ketsana hit.
Parma is still stalled in the Bashi Channel, and there is good news. The Central Weather Bureau predicts Parma will move southward away from Taiwan during the afternoon hours. The storm’s strength has been downgraded. The area has not escaped great quantities of rain, and flooding continues in the northeastern part of Taiwan (townships of Sansing and Dongshan).
Photo credit: God’s Geography