Taiwan hit by a storm after Nesat injures 111
Taiwan was hit yesterday by its second major storm in two days after Typhoon Nesat battered the island, leaving at least 111 injured while causing flooding and widespread power outages. Much of the island came to a standstill on Saturday after Nesat made landfall in the eastern county of Yilan, whipping up massive waves of over 49 feet and dumping up to 23 inches of rain in the southern region of Pingtung.
It moved away from Taiwan yesterday as Tropical Storm Haitang churned towards the south of the island and made landfall in Pingtung in late afternoon, said the Central Weather Bureau. It is the first time in 50 years that Taiwan has issued warnings for two such storms together. “Even though Haitang is gradually weakening, it is expected to bring heavy rain in central and southern Taiwan from tonight to tomorrow and we urge people to be on guard,” said forecaster Lin Ting-i.
The storm was 50 kilometres (31 miles) northwest of Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of the island, at 6 pm (1000 GMT). More than 12,000 people have been evacuated since Saturday, with nearly 9,000 soldiers deployed for disaster relief. Most train services were suspended and around 500 domestic and international flights cancelled or delayed during the weekend.
At least 111 people were injured, mostly by falling objects or car accidents while some slipped in the bad weather, according to the central emergency operation centre. More than half a million households were without electricity as Nesat pounded the island with downpours and winds of up to 180 kilometers an hour. Pingtung suffered the worst flooding as of Saturday night, with some 200 residents stranded but later rescued.
Images showed flooded homes and motorcyclists pushing their vehicles through water. Around 60,000 households were still without electricity yesterday though rail services had mostly resumed. TV footage showed soldiers sending food to some homes in Pingtung, where streets remained flooded. Two naval vessels anchored in the northern port of Keelung were damaged when they were rammed by a cruise ship whose mooring cable snapped in strong winds.
Although Nesat was Taiwan’s first typhoon this year, the island was pounded by heavy rains last month. Nesat made landfall at Fuqing city in China’s southeastern province of Fujian early yesterday, according to state media, with authorities issuing a red typhoon alertthe highest in China’s color-coded warning system. Emergency response efforts have begun in neighboring Zhejiang province, where more than 3,000 people have been evacuated, the China News Service reported. Another typhoon, dubbed “Begonia”, is expected to make landfall in Fujian either yesterday evening or Monday morning. —AFP
TAIPAI: A passer-by looks back to a tree uprooted by strong winds caused by Typhoon Nesat. — AP