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Taiwan's railways to suspend service ahead of super typhoon (update)
【Society】2016-07-07  17:58:45
Taipei, July 7 (CNA) Taiwan's two main railway systems are preparing to suspend service due to Super Typhoon Nepartak, which is carrying strong winds of up to 245 kilometers per hour and heavy rainfall as it bears down on the island.

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) said it will maintain its normal schedule Thursday, but will suspend all services on Friday up to 5 p.m., and will make a decision Thursday night on whether to extend the period of suspension.

Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), meanwhile, said it will offer only limited service between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday and will not operate any express trains on Friday up to 5 p.m. A decision will be made about the commuter train service on Friday depending on the weather conditions, the TRA said.

Meanwhile, the Alishan Forest Railway, which runs through the scenic mountain resort of Alishan in Taiwan's Chiayi County, has suspended its services as of Thursday afternoon, and will not re-open until Sunday, the TRA said.

The Directorate General of Highways has also closed over a dozen sections of its provincial highways in anticipation of the super typhoon.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Super Typhoon Nepartak was centered 220 kilometers east-southeast of Taitung, moving at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour in a west-northwesterly direction, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

With a radius of 200 km, the storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 198 kph, with gusts of up to 245 kph, according to CWB data.

Nepartak, the first typhoon of the 2016 Pacific typhoon season, is forecast to make landfall on Taiwan's east coast late Thursday into early Friday and is expected to batter the island throughout Friday.

(By Christie Chen and Wang Shu-fen)
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