Aug 08, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Typhoon Soudelor batters Taiwan (Taiwan News)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) As Typhoon Soudelor battered its way through Central Taiwan Saturday, at least four people were reported dead, while over a million people lost power and transportation came to a standstill.
The storm made landfall on the east coast at 4:40 a.m. and left the island from Yunlin County moving into the Taiwan Straits around 11 a.m., the Central Weather Bureau said.
The four casualties included a mother and a child who had gone swimming near Suao in Yilan County before the typhoon arrived. Late Friday evening, a man in Suao was hit by a falling billboard, while early Saturday in Pingtung County, a fire fighter died after he was hit by a car as he was clearing debris from fallen trees.
Four persons were also reported missing and 64 were injured. There were reports of flooding, mudslides, fallen trees, billboards and scaffolding from all over the country.
In the mountainous Wulai District of New Taipei City, mudslides hit homes, with a family of seven narrowly escaping being buried alive, reports said. In the Sanxia District, a family of five was evacuated from the second floor of their flooded home.
Several pieces of sheet metal were reported to have been blown off the Taipei Dome project, landing on nearby Zhongxiao East Road. The normally busy street was almost empty due to the storm and no injuries were reported.
The strong winds also caused havoc with public transportation and power supply. In Taipei, trains stopped running on elevated and surface parts of the Mass Rapid Transit system, in particular the Danshui Line north of Yuanshan station and the Wenhu Line. All national rail traffic was suspended until at least 6 p.m. Saturday, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.
A freight train had reportedly been blown off the tracks at Hanben Station near Suao, according to cable television footage. No mention was made of any injuries.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, the number of households without electricity was reported at 1.8 million, down from more than 2 million earlier in the morning. Keelung reported 30,000 homes without power, Taoyuan 15,000.
By 11 a.m., the eye of Typhoon Soudelor was situated 60 kilometers east-northeast of Penghu over the Taiwan Straits and moving northwest at a speed of 18 km per hour. The average wind speed fell to 144 km per hour, with gusts of up to 180 km per hour, down from more than 200 km per hour Friday evening.
However, that would not mean the threat of flooding and landslides would be over, since torrential rain and strong winds might continue well into Sunday morning, reports said.
The strongest winds were recorded in Suao, while Taiping Mountain, in Yilan County’s Datong District, received more 1,200 mm of rain over two days.