Taiwan Closes Taipei Offices, Markets Tomorrow for Typhoon Matmo

Taiwan cities, including Taipei, will close offices and schools tomorrow in anticipation of strong winds and rain from the island’s first major typhoon of the year. Financial markets will also be closed.

Taipei, the southern city of Kaohsiung, and 14 other cities and counties have announced similar measures, Taiwan’s Directorate-General of Personnel Administration announced in a statement posted on its website late today.

Typhoon Matmo had sustained winds of 137 kilometers per hour (85 miles per hour) and was headed toward Taiwan at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour as of 8 p.m., the Central Weather Bureau said. Matmo is anticipated to make landfall around midnight before leaving tomorrow, Cheng Ming-dean, director of the Central Weather Bureau’s Weather Forecast Center, said by phone.

A tropical storm in August dumped 12 inches of rain over two days and closed Taiwan’s financial markets, offices and schools. That came after Typhoon Soulik killed two people and knocked out electricity in more than 500,000 households last summer. The military has 8,000 service people prepared to carry out any typhoon-related rescue efforts, the National Fire Agency said today in a statement.

Stocks and bonds won’t trade in Taipei for one day tomorrow, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a text message. The island’s central bank said currency markets won’t open tomorrow if Taipei orders offices to be shut, the monetary authority said in an earlier e-mailed response to queries.

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration said 24 domestic flights and 30 international flights have been canceled as of 8 p.m. today, according to a statement. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. canceled three flights originating from Taiwan airports bound for Hong Kong, according to its website. China Southern Airlines Co. canceled 10 flights between Taiwan and mainland China cities due to the storm, Xinhua reported on its microblog.