Taipei, July 23 (CNA) The storm circle of Typhoon Matmo was gradually leaving Taiwan Wednesday and was expected to make landfall in southern China's Fujian Province that afternoon, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicted, saying a land warning could be lifted by 5:30 p.m.
Hsieh Ming-chang, the disaster-prevention division chief at the CWB, said that under the influence of a Pacific anticyclone, the typhoon's pace has accelerated, taking it in a north-northwesterly direction.
Matmo will make landfall later in the day in Fujian, Hsieh said. After that, he went on, the storm's strength will weaken and its storm circle will shrink. Taiwan proper will be gradually out of the typhoon's influence, he said.
The CWB forecast that a sea warning will not be lifted until midnight.
Hsieh reminded people living in coastal areas to be cautious of heavy seas, as waves as high as four meters had been detected around Matsu.
As of 2:30 p.m., the typhoon was centered about 140 km northeast of Kinmen, moving in a north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 20 kph.
It was packing maximum sustained winds of 119 kph, with gusts reaching 155 kph, the bureau said.
Matmo exited Taiwan early Wednesday from the central county of Changhua, about four hours after making landfall in eastern Taiwan's Taitung County, dumping heavy rainfall islandwide.
(By Angela Tsai and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/J
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