Typhoon hits eastern Taiwan heading for southern Japan

Typhoon Mawar hit Taiwan’s east coast with wind, rain and big waves on Tuesday but largely bypassed the island after it grazed across the northern Philippines. The storm moved slowly towards the south of Japan.

As the waves break on the shore, residents of the Taiwanese fishing town of Yilan protected their boats and houses from the weather.

“I won’t worry. The typhoon won’t hit now. The typhoon will move north from the sea in eastern Taiwan. Its strength has also weakened. And there is currently no wind and waves in the fishing port. I don’t think it will affect us,” said Wang Jian-chi, the owner of the fishing boat.

The Coast Guard said precautions were being taken just in case.

“We have issued a high surf warning. The wind and waves are very strong. We hope that at this moment beachgoers will not approach the beach and the promenade. We will also send coast guards to patrol the port to warn beachgoers,” Coast Guard officer Wang Xing-jie said as he patrolled the port with his team.

Although the slow typhoon has since lost some of its ferocity. crashed into Guam last weekForecasters in the Philippines said Mawar remains dangerous due to maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h and gusts up to 190 km/h.

The people of the Philippine province of Batanes braced themselves for the bad conditions, but were mostly spared.

“I’m on the roof, but I’m not being blown away by the wind,” Juliet Cataluna, a Batanes provincial spokesperson for the coastal city of Ivana, told The Associated Press via mobile phone. “I want us to truly be free from damage – our livelihoods, our agricultural products and our homes.”

Seeing earlier predictions that Mawar would be stronger, Ivana’s townsfolk placed sandbags on their tin roofs and covered their glass windows with wooden planks. Cataluna added that she wrapped her avocados in burlap to keep them from being blown off the trees.

City officials used motorcycles to deliver typhoon reports all the time, she said, and luckily, Ivana was hit with only light rain and occasional gusts of wind.

The typhoon was offshore about 350 kilometers (217 miles) east of the Batanes capital, Basco, and was forecast to move northeast towards southern Japan by Wednesday. Strong winds were still forecast in Taiwan, and Philippine officials cautioned against complacency, saying risks from dangerous tides, flash floods, landslides and typhoon-enhanced monsoon rains persisted until Mawar was safely blown away by the wind.

More than 3,400 villagers remained in shelters in the northern provinces, flights to and from Batanes are still suspended, and classes have not resumed in more than 250 cities in the north, according to the Civil Defense Directorate.

Winds hit neighboring Cagayan province on Monday, causing an unoccupied warehouse on a wharf to collapse and forcing more villagers to move to evacuation centers.

Mawar swept through Guam last week as the strongest typhoon to hit US territory in the Pacific in more than two decades, flipping cars, blowing off roofs and knocking out power.

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