Thursday, August 6, 2009

Typhoon season


If you want to visit Taiwan, try to avoid August. It's peak typhoon month. There's the tail end of one blowing through the island as I type. Typhoon Morakot has killed hundreds of people here, it seems. In the south schools and businesses closed down for three or even four days, starting August 7.

During a typhoon, no one in their right mind goes to the beach, the mountains or the forests. When a typhoon comes, don't think you can simply shift to another part of Taiwan to avoid it. Often - as throughout the past weekend - almost all public transport shuts down, and the entire island is battered by dangerously strong winds and heavy downpours. There's nothing to do but sit it out.

Exactly fifty years ago, typhoon-related flooding in central Taiwan killed 667 people.

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