Already on the map for over a week, the outer edges of Typhoon Sinlaku have started to batter Northern Taiwan. At 12.10pm today (Friday, September 6), Sinlaku was about 360km north-east of Taipei. The eye of the typhoon is moving at about 11kmph (about 6.9mph) and is expected to move steadily west to a position 110km north-east of Taipei by 11am tomorrow. Not expected to actually move onto Taiwan, Sinlaku’s current direction will place her on China’s east coast within 48 hours.
Most offices and schools in north and northeastern Taiwan are closed today and air and rail travel in the region has been suspended. The concentration of IT companies in the belt from the north of Taipei down to Hsinchu will all be affected.
Classified as a mid-strength typhoon, Sinlaku is bringing force 7 (>15m/s) winds up to 300km, and force 10 (>25m/s) winds up to 100km, from its eye. Maximum sustained winds are reaching 40m/s, with gusts up to 50m/s (about 112.5mph). The major concern for Taiwan is the amount of rain that the typhoon will bring and the potential for flooding. In Taipei, underground car parks have emptied and cars can be found parked in all the available high spots. The slower the typhoon moves, the more rain it will dump. Memories of the flooding caused at about this time last year by Typhoon Nari are still fresh.