TAIPEI, July 6, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on July 6, 2016 shows a scene of Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. Taiwan's weather bureau has issued its first warning for Typhoon Nepartak, which is expected to bring strong gusts and downpours to the island. It is forecast to make landfall in east Taiwan early on Friday. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)
TAIPEI, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan's weather bureau has issued its first warning for Typhoon Nepartak, which is expected to bring strong gusts and downpours to the island.
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the center of the year's first typhoon was at 19.4 degrees north latitude and 128.4 degrees east longitude, or about 870 km southeast of Hualien in east Taiwan, packing maximum sustained winds of 198 km per hour and gusts of 245 km per hour, according to the bureau.
The bureau said Nepartak was moving in a northwesterly direction at a speed of 22 km per hour.
It is forecast to make landfall in east Taiwan early on Friday.
Eastern coastal areas of Taiwan will begin to experience high wind and rain on Thursday, according to the bureau.
Ferries linking the main Taiwan island to two smaller islands to the southeast evacuated 3,000 tourists from the small islands before halting their services at midday on Wednesday.
Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan County has prepared sandbags and large pumps to prevent flooding. Last month, some of the airport's facilities were inundated and flights were affected after downpours hit the area.
Some large reservoirs in Taiwan were ordered to discharge water on Wednesday to brace for the heavy rainfall brought by the storm.