Taipei, July 21 (CNA) Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a sea warning for Typhoon In-Fa on Wednesday evening, as the storm remained on course to brush past the northern part of the island in the next few days.

As of 8 p.m., In-Fa was located about 540 kilometers east southeast of Taipei and was moving west at a speed of 8 kilometers per hour, according to the CWB.

The typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 144 kph, with gusts of up to 180 kph, CWB data showed.

The sea warning for In-Fa went into effect as of 8:30 p.m., and it may be followed by a land warning sometime on Thursday, the weather bureau said.

According to the latest forecast, In-Fa is expected to brush past northern Taiwan on Friday and Saturday, bringing heavy to extremely heavy rains to the northern half of the country and mountainous areas in the south.

The CWB defines extremely heavy rain as a total of 200 millimeters of rainfall over 24 hours or 100 millimeters in a 3-hour period, while heavy rain refers to totals of 80 mm and 40 mm during the same intervals.

The typhoon is expected to move away from Taiwan on Sunday, but southwesterly winds are likely to bring additional rain to the central and southern parts of the country, while the weather in other locations will remain “unstable,” the CWB said.

In preparation for the storm, the Armed Forces’ Third Theater Command, which is responsible for disaster relief operations in northern Taiwan, said Wednesday that it had personnel and equipment on standby to provide assistance if necessary.

Earlier in the day, the local governments in Keelung and Yilan said they were suspending COVID-19 vaccination on Friday and Saturday due to the typhoon and that people who had appointments on those two days would be allowed to reschedule.

The Ministry of Labor, meanwhile, issued a reminder to people working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic that they should report for duty, even if their local government declares a typhoon holiday.

The purpose of such holidays is to prevent workers from having to commute in dangerous weather, which has no bearing on remote work, Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the ministry’s Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, told CNA.

In-Fa, meaning fireworks in Cantonese, was upgraded to a typhoon on Tuesday, becoming the sixth named storm in the Northwestern Pacific this year. The international standard for a typhoon is when maximum sustained winds reach 119 kph.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng, Yu Hsiao-han, Matt Yu and Matthew Mazzetta)

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