NEW: Rail services in Taiwan to be halted as storm draws near; some flights canceled
A storm last month killed at least seven people in Taiwan and 26 in mainland China
A strong storm is spinning across the sea toward Taiwan, bringing the threat of powerful winds and heavy rains.
Typhoon Dujuan is forecast to hit Taiwan’s east coast on Monday evening. As it churned across the sea early Monday, the storm was packing maximum sustained winds of around 230 kph (145 mph).
The current predicted track calls for the storm to pass to the south of the densely populated region surrounding Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city.
It’s expected to weaken somewhat before making landfall as the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, according to CNN meteorologist Guy Michael. It’s also forecast to dump around 500 millimeters (20 inches) of rain on mountainous areas of central Taiwan.
Officials have issued land and sea warnings to citizens during the storm’s approach and announced plans to shut down rail services, the island’s Central News Agency reported. Some airlines have canceled or moved forward afternoon flights, it said.
Monday is a public holiday in Taiwan, so most schools and offices were scheduled to be shut. But those in northern Taiwan that had planned to open will remain closed because of the storm, the news agency said.
Before it reaches Taiwan, Dujuan will brush past Japan’s small, thinly populated Yaeyama Islands.
Taiwan was hit last month by Typhoon Soudelor, a fierce storm that also moved on to wreak havoc on the Chinese mainland. Soudelor killed at least seven people in Taiwan and at least 26 in mainland China.
Dujuan is also expected to later head across the Taiwan Strait and strike the coast of the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian on Tuesday.
By that stage, its winds are likely to have lost a significant amount of their force, but torrential rains will still pose a risk in the densely populated region.
“It’s not only a wind maker, this is a rain maker,” said CNN weather anchor Derek Van Dam.
CNN’s Ward Taylor and Michael Pearson contributed to this report.