8:18 pm - Monday December 17, 2018

2,000 tourists stranded on Green Island due to typhoon

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Nearly 2,000 tourists were stranded on Green Island off the coast of southeastern Taiwan on Monday because of big waves and strong winds resulting from Typhoon Kalmaegi.

The typhoon, which swept through the northern Philippines overnight, is not a threat to Taiwan proper but has caused waves of four meters high near Green Island, leading to the suspension of the seven ferries scheduled to sail between the island and Taitung on Monday.

The ferry service was suspended without warning, and the vessels’ operators said they were not sure when services would resume.

Strong wind gusts from the storm’s periphery reaching around 90 kilometers per hour were seen off Taiwan’s northern, northeastern and southern coasts, forecasters said.

Taipei, meanwhile, experienced winds of about 60 kph, the bureau said, warning that the strong winds could continue into the evening.

As of 2 p.m., the typhoon was centered 620 km southwest of the Taiwan’s southernmost tip, moving in a west-northwesterly direction at a speed of 30 km per hour, the bureau said.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 119 kph, with gusts reaching 155 kph, according to the bureau.

Ships operating near the South China Sea and Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines should be on high alert, the bureau warned. 

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