Soude­lor wreaks havoc around Tai­wan

At least 6 peo­ple die, while over 3 mil. house­holds lose elec­tric­ity

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Typhoon Soude­lor bat­tered Tai­wan with strong winds and heavy rains yesterday, leav­ing at least six peo­ple dead, dis­rupt­ing traf­fic and caus­ing a record black­out af­fect­ing over 3 mil­lion house­holds, dis­as­ter re­sponse of­fi­cials said.

The typhoon, with winds get­ting up to over 200 kilo­me­ters per hour and a di­am­e­ter of 300 kilo­me­ters, made land­fall on the eastern coast in Hualien around 4 a.m., sweep­ing across the is­land with a storm sys­tem cov­er­ing the en­tire is­land, the Cen­tral Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

Many parts of the is­land recorded rain­fall ap­proach­ing the 1,000-mil­lime­ter mark, with a moun­tain­ous area in the north­east­ern county of Yi­lan see­ing 1,300 mil­lime­ters of pre­cip­i­ta­tion, the high­est of all mon­i­tored re­gions as of 10 a.m., the CWB said.

A small vil­lage in the moun­tains of Taoyuan County was buried in a mud­slide, but all of its 25 res­i­dents had been evac­u­ated be­fore Soude­lor ar­rived, res­cue work­ers said.

The storm sys­tem was ex­pected to leave Tai­wan about mid­night, but the out­ly­ing is­land coun­ties of Penghu, Kin­men and Matsu would con­tinue to come un­der threat, the CWB said.

Six peo­ple have been re­ported dead in the wake of Soude­lor, which has also left four oth­ers miss­ing and more than 100 in­jured, the Cen­tral News Agency (CNA) said.

One of the dead was a fire­man, sur­named Chen, 48, who was hit by a car in front of the fire sta­tion where he works in Ping­tung County in the early hours while clean­ing his equip­ment af­ter a fire­fight­ing mis­sion, po­lice said. A team­mate of his was also hit and was se­ri­ously in­jured.

“We didn’t want such a Fa­ther’s Day,” Chen’s sad­dened fam­ily was quoted as say­ing by the CNA. Aug. 8 is Fa­ther’s Day in Tai­wan.

A mi­grant worker was killed in Yi­lan when he was struck by a fall­ing bill­board while cy­cling home. In Taipei, a mo­tor­cy­clist died af­ter his ve­hi­cle hit a tree, po­lice said. A man was washed away by flood wa­ter near his home in Xin­dian, New Taipei. His body was found later, po­lice added.

More than 3 mil­lion house­holds around Tai­wan saw their power cut off at some point when fall­ing ob­jects sev­ered power lines and strong winds trig­gered short cir­cuits. The elec­tric­ity sup­ply to about 1.5 mil­lion house­holds had yet to be re­sumed late in the af­ter­noon, the CNA said.

The Tai­wan Power Com­pany said it was over­whelmed by the record num­ber of black­outs, and that it would take some time be­fore full sup­ply could be re­stored.

Traf­fic in many parts of the is­land was stalled. The author­i­ties closed 23 pro­vin­cial roads, the largest scale road clo­sure since the gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a road con­di­tion warn­ing sys­tem in 2011.

The Tai­wan Rail­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion said its ser­vices around the is­land would not re­sume un­til mid­night.

The High Speed Rail said it would re­sume ser­vice at 7 p.m., while bus ser­vices in Taipei re­turned to nor­mal at 6 p.m.

Taipei City recorded its sec­ond-strong­est-ever gust of wind and the high­est-ever num­ber of trees felled dur­ing a typhoon, the CNA said. A to­tal 2,079 cases of fall­ing trees were re­ported as of press time, but city of­fi­cials said a lot more were be­lieved to have been un­re­ported, ac­cord­ing to the CNA.

Ris­ing river lev­els threat­ened many ar­eas in Greater Taipei, with Xi­u­lang Bridge — which con­nects Taipei City with New Taipei City’s Xin­dian dis­trict — closed to traf­fic.

Many res­i­dents in New Taipei’s Sanxia dis­trict were trapped in­side their homes by flood­ing, res­cue work­ers said.

Pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates of agri­cul­tural losses around the is­land to­taled NT$ 140 mil­lion, and Hualien, where Soude­lor made land­fall, was hit hard­est with losses amount­ing to more than NT$87 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Coun­cil of Agri­cul­ture, the CNA re­ported.

2. A man car­ries an old woman on his back while wad­ing in knee-deep wa­ter flood­ing Jingxing Rd. ( ) in Taipei’s Jing­mei ( ) dis­trict, yesterday. Many ar­eas of Greater Taipei were flooded due to the heavy rains brought by Soude­lor. 3. A car lies crushed un­der a me­tal roof blown off a nearby build­ing by strong winds at the in­ter­sec­tion of Minzu East ( ) and Longjiang roads ( in Taipei, yesterday. The fall­ing roof also top­pled a lamp­post.

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CNA

1. A man is half buried in a mud­slide trig­gered by Typhoon Soude­lor, as res­cuers work to pull him out in Wu­lai ( ), New Taipei, yesterday. The man and six other mem­bers of his fam­ily were leav­ing their home to seek shel­ter when the mud­slide struck. All were res­cued.

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