Flights canceled as typhoon nears Taiwan

Taiwan warned businesses and schools to prepare for extreme conditions as Severe Typhoon Maria closes in on the island, disrupting flights and curtailing futures trading.

The typhoon could bring strong winds and heavy rains to northern and central Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said in statement yesterday. Several local governments in  northern Taiwan including Taipei City, the island’s political and business capital, have announced closures of offices and schools from 4 p.m.

In Macau, due to the influence of the typhoon, a total of sixteen flights departing or arriving to the local airport have been canceled yesterday and today. The airlines affected were Air Macau, TigerAir Taiwan and Eva Airways. 

Taipei-based Civil Aeronautics Administration said by text message that many other airlines, including Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Air China Ltd. and EVA Airways Corp., have canceled 161 international flights and 117 on domestic routes as of 10 a.m. yesterday,

The weather authority issued a sea warning and a land warning Monday, advising residents to take precautionary measures given risks of floods and landslides. It is currently unclear whether the storm will make direct landfall in Taiwan. The weather bureau forecasts it to be at its closest on Tuesday evening and early Wednesday.

Maria, with sustained winds of up to 191 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 234 kilometers per hour, was categorized as a typhoon by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The storm was heading west-northwest with decreasing speed of 28 kilometers per hour and comes amid extreme weather in other parts of Asia. Japan is grappling with the fallout from historic rainfall in the country’s west which killed at least 110 people and pushed more than 23,000 into evacuation centers.

Local airport records passenger growth

MACAU INTERNATIONAL Airport recorded significant passenger growth in first half of 2018.  The local airport handled 4 million passengers, an increase of 20 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2017. Flight movements increased by 12 percent to over 31,000 landings and takeoffs compared to the same period last year.  In the first half of 2018, the passenger traffic from the three major markets of the Macau airport included mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, which recorded growth of 37 percent, 4 percent and 16 percent respectively over the same period last year. MIA has an average of 22,000 passengers per day.

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