A villager clears water in her waterlogged home in Ilan County, southeast China's Taiwan, Aug. 2, 2012. Typhoon Saola brought heavy rains around Taiwan, forcing most of the island's schools and offices to close Thursday. (Xinhua)
TAIPEI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Saola brought heavy rains around Taiwan, forcing most of the island's schools and offices to close Thursday.
The center of Saola made landfall at around 3 a.m. in the coastal Hualien county and returned to the sea off Taiwan's east coast three hours later. Strong winds battered Taipei Wednesday night, but weakened as rain continued.
Located in the sea some 30 km southeast of Taiwan's eastern coastal city of Ilan, the typhoon's center is heading northwest at an estimated speed of 16 km per hour with sustained winds reaching a maximum speed of 119 km per hour at the center, according to the latest weather forecasting information released at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Saola's storm circle has covered most of Taiwan and the outlying islands of Penghu and brought continuous rain and wind. According to the forecasting agency, the wind force at the typhoon's center is likely to decrease Thursday evening.
Taiwan has maintained its typhoon warnings for land and sea areas, urging precautions against landslides, flooding and high waves.
Precipitation in Ilan reached 1,774 mm from early Tuesday to 1 p.m. Thursday, while the cities of Taichung and Taipei in central and north Taiwan received 1,158 mm and 680 mm of rain, respectively.