efe-epaTaipei

Taiwan has evacuated more than 4,000 people from Orchid island, and issued an alert for super typhoon Maria, which is expected to make landfall on the island late on Monday, the National Meteorological Center said.

The government has convened a special emergency group to deal with the potential damage the typhoon might cause.

The Meteorological Center has said there was a strong probability the storm would hit the island.

There was an 80 percent chance that Maria would affect the most populated parts of Taiwan, including the capital Taipei, New Taipei and nearby areas, the center added.

The eye of the Super Typhoon Maria was sustaining winds of up to 55 meters (180 feet) per second, with gusts of up to 68 meters per second, bringing fears the storm could bring torrential rains, landslides and floods to northern and central Taiwan.

Japanese airline Peach has already cancelled several flights to Taiwan on Tuesday and many other airlines were expected to do the same.