YILAN (Taiwan) (AP) — Typhoon Mawar lashed Taiwan’s eastern coast with high winds, rain and huge waves on Tuesday, but mostly circled the island after briefly hitting the northern Philippines. The storm is slowly moving towards southern Japan.
Residents in the fishing town of Yilan, Taiwan, protected boats and homes from the storm as waves lapped the coastline.
Although the slow-moving typhoon has lost some of its ferocity since hitting Guam last week, forecasters in the Philippines said Mawar remained dangerous with maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h and gusts of up to 190 km/h.
“I’m on the roof, but I’m not blown away by the wind,” Juliet Cataluna, a Badanes provincial official in the coastal town of Ivana, told The Associated Press by phone. “I hope we’re really spared, our livelihoods, our produce and our homes.”
The townspeople of Ivana put sandbags on their tin roofs and boarded up the glass windows after seeing earlier predictions that Marwar would be stronger. Cataluna added that she wraps the avocados in burlap so they won’t be blown off the tree by the wind.
She said town leaders used their motorcycles to give constant typhoon updates, but luckily only light rain and the occasional gust of wind hit Ivana.
The typhoon is about 350 kilometers east of Basco, the capital of the Bataan Islands, and is expected to move northeast toward southern Japan on Wednesday. Strong winds were still expected in Taiwan and Philippine authorities warned against complacency, saying the risk of dangerous tidal surges, flash floods, landslides and monsoon rains enhanced by the typhoon remained until Marwa was safely blown away.
More than 3,400 villagers in the northern province are still in emergency shelters, flights to and from Batanes remain grounded and classes have not resumed in more than 250 towns in the north, according to the civil defense office.
High winds battered nearby Cagayan province on Monday, causing an unoccupied dock warehouse to collapse and prompting more villagers to move to evacuation centres.
Mawa swept through Guam last week as the strongest typhoon to hit the U.S. Pacific territory in more than two decades, flipping cars, knocking off roofs and knocking out power. (Associated Press)
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