Soudelor crosses strait, leaves 7 confirmed dead
Five still missing, 402 injured, many without power, water
Typhoon Soudelor left at least seven dead, five missing and 402 injured as well as 190,000 Taiwan households still without power yesterday before heading into Fujian Province in the weakened state of a severe tropical storm.
After making landfall early Saturday, the typhoon felled billboards, ripped up trees and knocked out power to a record number of households in Taiwan.
As of press time, the Executive Yuan Central Emergency Operation Center ( ) had confirmed seven dead and five missing.
In New Taipei City, a man drowned in his waterlogged home, while flooded streets swept out three people who have been reported missing.
In Manjhou Township, Pingtung County, a 48-year-old fire captain was killed and his squad member severely injured as they were clearing a fallen tree from a road and were struck by a drunk driver.
Hundreds across Taiwan suffered injuries from broken glass, signs and other flying debris, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.
On Friday, Typhoon Soudelor stripped scaffolding and metal paneling from the Taipei Dome construction project, causing no reported injuries but damaging a vehicle below.
Police blocked off the neighboring Zhongxiao East Road to car traffic until 5 p.m. yesterday.
The Taiwan Power Company ( Taipower, ) said blackouts hit over 4,340,000 households over the weekend — nearly one out of every four in Taiwan, exceeding the all-time record set by Super Typhoon Herb in 1996.
As of 8 p.m. yesterday, the state- run utility had restored power to an estimated 4,140,000 households, leaving 190,000 still without power, mainly in Changhua County, Taoyuan City, Greater Taichung and New Taipei.
Taipower also reported an estimated NT$560 million in damage to wind turbines.
Strong gusts caused partial damage to eight wind turbines at Taipower’s Shimen Wind Power Station and Gaomei Wetlands in Greater Taichung.
Run and Boil
As of yesterday, 131,000 households were still without water due to power cuts at pumping stations, according to the Taiwan Water Corporation ( ).
The typhoon also swept sediment into the Feitsui Reservoir ( ), said Wang Guo-jian ( ), vice president of the Taiwan Water Corporation.
Wang said at least 53,000 households in Northern Taiwan were drawing highly turbid water from the reservoir, but that the problem should be resolved within two days.
The state- run utility urged consumers in the Greater Taipei area to let tap water run for three minutes before collecting and to boil the water before drinking.
If tap water remains discolored for many days after the typhoon departs, the cause could be a cracked water pipe that Taiwan Water Company will repair upon notification, the company said.
Storm Hits Farms, Schools
In a report released 6 p.m. Sunday, the Council of Agriculture reported that the typhoon caused at least NT$549.08 million in agricultural losses, twice the amount reported at 9 a.m. on the same day. Estimates are expected to mount over the next few days.
According to the report, Typhoon Soudelor damaged over 10,877 hectares in harvestable cropland, hitting Hualien County the hardest.
The crop hurt worst by the storm was bananas, which were damaged at an estimated rate of 25 percent, according to the Council of Agriculture.
At schools, the typhoon caused over NT$ 120- million worth of damage, according to a preliminary estimate from the Education Ministry.
About 800 schools had reported damage as of 1 p.m. Sunday, including 110 in Greater Taichung, 98 in Greater Kaohsiung and 82 in Changhua, the Ministry of Education reported.
For updates on damage from Typhoon Soudelor, see the Central Emergency Operation Center’s website at http://www.emic. gov.tw/index.aspx?ID=18 .
(Top) The Marine Corps clears away trees uprooted by Typhoon Soudelor, yesterday. The Republic of China Marine Corps sent troops to clear storm damage in Greater Kaohsiung, New Taipei City and Pingtung County. (Above) A view of Taipei Dome is shown, early yesterday. On Friday, Typhoon Soudelor stripped scaffolding and metal paneling from the construction project, causing no reported injuries but damaging a vehicle below. Normal traffic resumed early evening.