Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) A land warning could be issued for Tropical Storm Bailu as early as Friday afternoon, depending on the path it takes as it approaches Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Thursday.
The tropical storm, centered around 975 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip as of 8 p.m. Thursday, was moving in a northwesterly direction at a speed of 23 kilometers per hour, according to the weather bureau.
It was packing maximum sustained winds of 82 kph and gusts of 108 kph, according to the bureau.
Sea and land warnings could be issued at 5:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively, on Friday, the CWB said.
However, it said the warnings could be delayed if there were any changes to Bailu's projected path.
On Thursday, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the military had placed more than 34,000 troops and 4,200 heavy-duty vehicles on standby for disaster response and relief operations as the tropical storm approached Taiwan.
To prepare for the impact of Bailu, the military will be deploying several of their AAV7 amphibious assault vehicles to strategic locations, including Chiayi County, Tainan City and Pingtung County, the MND said.
Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) had already ordered all units of the armed forces to closely monitor the movement of Bailu, and to work with local governments to facilitate rescue operations if needed, according to the ministry.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), meanwhile, also instructed all government agencies on Thursday to prepare for the storm, and to take all precautionary measures to minimize its possible impact.