Typhoon Haikui caused landfall in the eastern Taitung area, Taiwan, at 17:00 local time on Sunday. The landfall prompted extensive evacuation and precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its residents.

Approximately 3,000 individuals from high-risk zones in eastern Taiwan were evacuated in anticipation of the typhoon’s arrival. With wind speeds of approximately 140 km/h (39 mph), Haikui poses a significant threat to the region.

The typhoon, which brought heavy rainfall to the region on Sunday morning, closed down schools and offices in southern and eastern Taiwan. Over 200 domestic flights were also cancelled as a precautionary measure.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen addressed the nation and expressed her concern for the safety of the Taiwanese people.

President Tsai maintained that Typhoon Haikui was the first typhoon to make landfall in Taiwan in four years, underlining the gravity of the situation. She urged citizens to make necessary preparations for the typhoon, which included ensuring they had adequate supplies.

The government has activated emergency response teams, and shelters have been set up to accommodate those who have been evacuated from high-risk areas.

The update from Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau, presented during a press conference, revealed that the storm was located approximately 180 km (110 miles) east of Taiwan just before 9 am local time.

Bureau’s Deputy Director, Fong Chin-tzu, noted that Typhoon Haikui had intensified since the previous day and posed a significant threat to most areas in Taiwan. The storm was expected to bring strong winds, heavy rains, and high waves.

As Typhoon Haikui approached, its path was predicted to move westward towards the Taiwan Strait by Monday. The Interior Ministry reported that more than 2,800 individuals had already been evacuated from seven cities in Taiwan, with the majority of evacuees coming from the mountainous county of Hualien, adjacent to Taitung.

Due to continuous heavy rainfall under dark skies and an impending typhoon, Hualien streets were deserted on Sunday morning.

In preparation for Typhoon Haikui’s arrival, Taiwan’s military has taken proactive measures, mobilizing soldiers and equipment such as amphibious vehicles and inflatable rubber boats.

The last significant storm to make landfall in Taiwan was Typhoon Bailu in 2019, which resulted in one fatality and significant damage. Typhoon Haikui was expected to be less severe than Typhoon Saola, which prompted the highest threat level in nearby regions like Hong Kong and southern China but eventually weakened into a tropical storm.