Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens – August 5, 2015: Typhoon Soudelor

This Emergency Message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Taiwan about Typhoon Soudelor, currently in the western Pacific Ocean southeast of Taiwan.  Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB) projects this storm will make landfall in Taiwan late Friday night.  Taiwan is projected to begin feeling the effects of the storm late Thursday or early Friday.

Typhoon Soudelor currently has winds over 170 miles per hour with gusts over 200 miles per hour and waves approaching 50 feet.  The storm is projected to weaken slightly before its projected landfall in the northern part of Taiwan.  When it makes landfall, the storm likely will still be a Category 4 typhoon with winds around 145 mph and gusts over 170 mph.

Typhoons bring with them the risk of torrential rain, flooding, storm surge, and landslides throughout the island.

AIT encourages all U.S. citizens to avoid traveling during the typhoon and to take steps to prepare for potential loss of power and flooding in low-lying areas.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to ensure they have adequate supplies of food, bottled water, and medicine during the storm’s aftermath, and should especially avoid waterways and mountainous areas, which are most prone to flooding.

We will continue to monitor Typhoon Soudelor’s track and will issue updated messages as needed.   Please monitor the typhoon’s track by listening to the radio, watching television, or monitoring Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau website in English.  International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) provides regular weather bulletins in English on 100.7 FM in the Taipei and Kaohsiung areas and on 100.1 FM in Taichung.  Locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions.  Carry your travel documents at all times (e.g. U.S. passport, birth certificate, picture IDs, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location.  You should also contact friends and family in the United States with updates on your whereabouts.

Additional information on typhoons and storm preparedness may be found on the Natural Disasters page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website.  Updated information on travel in Taiwan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or from overseas, 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Please continue to monitor the American Institute in Taiwan’s website for updated information.  Please consult the Country Specific Information for Taiwan, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide Caution, Taiwan Specific Information, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.  Follow us on the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.

All U.S. citizens in Taiwan are urged to enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) via the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website.  Registering gives U.S citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Taiwan and makes it easier for AIT to contact citizens in case of emergency.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the American Institute in Taiwan.  The location of the AIT Taipei office is No. 7, Lane 134, Sec. 3, XinYi Road, Da-an District, Taipei City 10659; telephone (02) 2162-2000; fax (02) 2162-2239; emailamcit-ait-t@state.gov; after hours emergency (02)2162-2000.  The location of the AIT Kaohsiung office is 5thFloor, No. 88, Chenggong 2nd Rd, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City 80661; telephone (07) 335-5006; fax (07) 338-0551; email amcit-ait-t@state.gov; after hours emergency (02) 2162-2000.