• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Taiwan cancels military drills as typhoon approaches

Taiwan cancels military drills as typhoon approaches

Taiwan canceled parts of its annual military exercises on Tuesday as it ramped up preparations for what authorities say could be the most destructive typhoon to hit the island in nearly four years. Typhoons are common this time of year near Taiwan, but the subtropical island has not been directly hit by a typhoon since 2019, prompting officials to remain cautious.

Typhoon Doxuri, ranked as a Category 4 super typhoon from 1 to 5 tropical storm risk, is expected to enter the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan and the Philippines in a west-northwest direction, and enter waters off the island’s southern coast. Taiwan’s defense ministry canceled parts of the major annual Han Kuang exercise scheduled for Tuesday, citing security concerns and the need to prepare for the coming storm.

Taiwan’s weather bureau issued sea warnings, urging residents there to prepare for heavy rain and strong winds, and said it would issue a land warning to southern counties later Tuesday. “Taiwan has not seen a typhoon make landfall in more than 1,400 days, which is why I urge all government ministries to be prepared and make preparations,” Premier Chen Chien-jen said in a post on Facebook.

“I want to remind citizens not to underestimate typhoon threats.” It was not immediately clear how the typhoon would further impact the five-day island-wide military exercises this week, which are focused on protecting the island’s main international airport and how to keep sea lanes open in the event of a Chinese blockade.

In the southern port city of Kaohsiung, authorities were scrambling to collect hundreds of containers floating at sea after the Palau-flagged container ship Angel sank off Taiwan’s southwest coast last week.

(This story has not been edited by DavidDiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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