Typhoon Doksuri: Taiwan Cancels Han Kuang Military Exercises
As the island nation prepares for what could be the strongest typhoon to hit the island in four years, Taiwan has curtailed some of its most extensive military exercises.
Doksuri is moving towards the waters that divide Taiwan and the Philippines after roaring to super typhoon strength with winds of 240 km/h (149 mph).
The annual Han Kuang exercises, which began on Monday, test Taiwan’s defense in the event of a Chinese attack. It is unknown if the remaining five days of the exercise will be interrupted.
During this time of year, typhoons are frequent in the western Pacific, but none have directly hit the island since 2019. The superstorm is expected to impact Taiwan on Wednesday and Thursday.
Strong winds and torrential rain have prompted warnings from Taiwan’s weather bureau. Authorities had hurried to gather containers on the sea in Kaohsiung, a southern port city.
Taiwan’s premier Chen Chien-Jen said in an online statement: “I’d like to remind people not to underestimate the threat of typhoons.”
As Doksuri got closer to the Philippines, Cagayan province’s schools and offices closed. A million people reside in the province, which is prone to flooding.
According to local officials, evacuation orders have been issued for coastal communities, and ferry services have been suspended in case storm surges reach or even surpass 3 meters (10 feet).
According to the local weather service, by midday on Wednesday, the storm known locally as Egay was predicted to have dumped more than 200 millimeters (7.9 inches) of rain on a significant portion of the main northern island of Luzon.
Climate scientists have long issued warnings that storm frequency and intensity will rise due to global warming.
Doksuri is anticipated to travel to southern China later this week, where the effects of typhoon Talim from earlier this month are still being felt.
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Taiwan will simulate its response to an attack on its main airport and a blockade led by China during this year’s Han Kuang. Since the drills began in 1984, it is the largest.
Taiwan sees itself as a self-governing, independent island with its laws and a democratically elected leader, separate from mainland China.
However, China views the island as a secessionist province that will eventually be retaken by Beijing, possibly using force.