Tai­wan hit by a storm af­ter Ne­sat in­jures 111

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

Fall­ing ob­jects

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

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