Flights Canceled And Schools Closed as Taiwan Braces for Typhoon Koinu

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Flights were canceled and schools were closed in parts of Taiwan on Wednesday as the island braced for strong winds and downpours brought by Typhoon Koinu.

At least 93 flights were canceled at airports across the island on Wednesday, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.

The Maritime and Port Bureau said 96 ferry trips had been canceled, according to the Central News Agency.

The typhoon may make landfall in the southeastern part of Taiwan overnight on Wednesday or Thursday morning, according to meteorologists.

On Wednesday, rain from the typhoon's periphery was falling in northern and eastern Taiwan and was expected to become heavier on the eastern coast and in the south later in the day.

Taiwan's outlying Penghu, Orchid and Green islands announced school and office closures in anticipation of severe weather brought by the typhoon.

Parts of the southern Pingtung county also announced closures.

The typhoon was moving west toward Taiwan with maximum sustained winds of 155 kph (96 mph) and gusts of 191 kph (119 mph) on Wednesday morning, according to Taiwan's Weather Bureau.

China's National Meteorological Center on Wednesday maintained a yellow alert -- the third most severe level -- for Typhoon Koinu.

Chinese forecasters expected strong winds in the coastal areas of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, where ferry services were suspended and fishing boats called to port.