* North of Taiwan expected to face full force of Maria
* Scores of flights cancelled, businesses close early
* Weather bureau warns of landslides, flash floods
Taiwan braced for super typhoon Maria on Tuesday, as airlines cancelled flights and the weather bureau warned against landslides and flash floods on the heavily industrialised island.
Maria was expected to make landfall late on Tuesday, hitting Taiwan's northern region the hardest, as it moves in a west-northwesterly direction at 30 kph (19 mph), from its location 490 km east of Yilan County, weather officials said.
Troops were deployed in some areas, with heavy rain and winds expected into early Wednesday. Fishermen in the northern city of Keelung tied up boats as they braced for the storm.
The government ordered schools and businesses to close early, although it had not yet decided whether to close financial markets, companies and schools on Wednesday.
China Airlines and Eva Airways, Taiwan's two largest carriers, cancelled scores of flights and warned that more could be delayed because of the typhoon.
Hong Kong's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways , said more than a dozen flights had been cancelled.
Taiwan is frequently hit by typhoons during the summer, but it has stepped up preparations to guard against them since Typhoon Morakot devastated the island in 2009.
Morakot was the deadliest typhoon to hit Taiwan in recorded history, killing nearly 700 people, most of them in landslides.