Typhoon Parma approaches Taiwan | world | Hindustan Times
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Typhoon Parma approaches Taiwan

world Updated: Oct 04, 2009 07:14 IST

Typhoon Parma approached Taiwan on Sunday morning after slamming the northern Philippines and killing at least three people there.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning on Sunday morning as the storm charged into the Bashih Channel separating Taiwan and the Philippines.

By 5 a.m. Sunday, the eye of the storm was located 340 km south of Taiwan's southern tip Erlunpi. Moving at seven kilometers per hour in a northwesterly-north direction, Parma packed sustained winds of 126 kph with gusts of up to 162 kph, the bureau said.

"Right now Parma seems to be swirling in the Bashih Channel and its speed is expected to slow down to 4 kph," weatherman Hsieh Ming-chang said.

"As the other typhoon, Melor, is moving towards Japan's Ryukyu Islands, Melor could suck the force of Parma, causing Parma to stay put, build up its power and start moving again," he said.

If that happens, Parma might dump heavy rainfall on southern and southeast Taiwan, he warned.

Taiwan began to prepare for Parma Saturday with President Ma Ying-jeou and ministers inspecting coastal areas' anti-typhoon measures and the military evacuating mountain villagers.

In the capital Taipei, the city government has stockpiled sand bags to give away free of charge to help residents prevent floodwater from reaching their homes.

Taiwan wants to avoid a repeat of Typhoon Morakot, which hit Taiwan August 8, killing 178 people in floods and mudslides.

President Ma had to reshuffle the Cabinet after Premier Liu Chao-shiuan resigned to shoulder responsibility for the slow response to Typhoon Morakot, the worst storm to hit Taiwan in 50 years.