June 20, 2009 / 2:51 AM / 11 years ago

Taiwan issues warning ahead of weekend typhoon

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan authorities on Saturday issued a sea warning for the island’s first typhoon of the year, a light but slow-moving storm expected to reach land this weekend with torrential rains and wind gusts up to 103 kph.

Typhoon Linfa, centred 410 km southwest Taiwan as of 0030 GMT, was headed toward the island and the southeast coast of China, the Central Weather Bureau said.

“As the typhoon continues to move north-northeast, it constitutes a threat to the Taiwan Strait,” the bureau said on its website (www.cwb.gov.tw).

The light typhoon, with sustained winds of 83 kph, is expected to reach land on Sunday, lingering through Monday at an usually slow 10 kph, raising the risk of floods or mudslides.

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before weakening over land.

Two major typhoons reached Taiwan last year, including a slow-moving storm that brought more than 1,100 mm (43 inches) of rain and killed 12 people.

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