Superstorm puts a damper on S'pore travellers' plans

Several Singaporeans in Taiwan have been forced to change their travel plans as the super typhoon made landfall. It tore into Kaohsiung (above) and Tainan yesterday, and is expected to hit China today.
Several Singaporeans in Taiwan have been forced to change their travel plans as the super typhoon made landfall. It tore into Kaohsiung (above) and Tainan yesterday, and is expected to hit China today.PHOTO COURTESY OF SAM TSAI

Eight Singaporean travellers in Taiwan had to change their plans as Typhoon Nepartak smashed into Taiwan yesterday morning.

The travellers from Dynasty Travel were supposed to visit Hualien, a popular tourist destination on the eastern coast of Taiwan, but went to Taichung in central Taiwan instead.

Hualien saw torrential rain, while Taichung was relatively unscathed, with moderate rain and wind.

At least two flights operated by Taiwan's China Airlines between Taiwan and Singapore were cancelled yesterday.

Four flights arriving in Singapore through Taipei and two flights departing Singapore for Taipei were also retimed yesterday.

But the overall impact on Singapore travellers in Taiwan is muted, said Dynasty Travel's director of public relations and communications Alicia Seah, as "it's not the peak season since the school holidays are over".

Across Taiwan, many Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) had to batten down the hatches in preparation for the typhoon.

National Chengchi University student Hsu Yiting, 22, a Singapore PR, holed up in her house in Taipei.

Her uncle had earlier chopped down the trees in her backyard to prevent the branches from breaking and smashing into her house from the force of the typhoon.

The super typhoon had landed in Taitung yesterday morning and tore into Kaohsiung and Tainan before emerging into the Taiwan Strait yesterday evening. It is expected to move on to Fujian and Zhejiang in China today.

Strong winds and rain lashed Taipei after the typhoon landed yesterday. But Ms Hsu remained unfazed. "My house in Taipei has weathered many typhoons, " she said.

Mr Alvin Lim, 26, a medical student in Taichung's China Medical University, said he wanted to grab food at the supermarket near his place in Taichung but was too late.

"When I went there at 8.30pm on Thursday, everything was literally cleared off the shelves," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2016, with the headline 'Superstorm puts a damper on S'pore travellers' plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe