What’s a typhoon?
No, I’m not talking about Cold War era nuclear Soviet submarines.
I meant Asian hurricanes.
Every summer, Taiwan encounters a few typhoons here and there; the number can range anywhere from 5-10 typhoons per season. While typhoons occur are no strange sight, the effects of each typhoon strongly varies.
Just like hurricanes, typhoons come in different sizes and classes. While it is without a doubt that the bigger the typhoon, the stronger the effects. sometimes typhoons can cause major natural disasters with the right conditions. If anything, typhoons are really no different than that of a hurricane.
Just like typical responses to hurricanes, there’s usually stoppage of work, evacuations, and etc. In Taiwan, as long as a region is directly affected by the typhoon, all work is closed and civilians are advised to stay indoors. For people living in mountain ranges or near bodies of water, often they are called ahead of time to evacuate the area. As with some “old-fashioned” people, they insist on not leaving, but when shit hits the fan, the government always sends rescue choppers.
As for the city, it’s nothing else but torrential rain and maybe slight flooding. While on paper it sounds like “not a big deal”, for people commuting to work, it’s actually pretty chaotic. Usually these government sanctioned typhoon days are only when the typhoon is impeding on the area affected.
Meanwhile, some services, such as the Maokong Gondola at the Taipei Zoo will be closed even before a typhoon hits the South of Taiwan (presuming it’s going from South to North). Today, I went with my girlfriend, and despite the lack of the usual torrential rain (since the typhoon hasn’t even landed yet), the ride was closed. This was due to “high-speed” winds that could effect the Maokong’s operation. Thus, we were kind of disappointed that it was closed for a legitimate reason, even though the typhoon was far from Taiwan.
Usually, if the typhoon hits Taiwan, all flights to and from Taiwan are suspended, so if you’re looking to visit in the summer, then you should probably check the weather forecast!