Typhoon slams into Taiwan, six injured
A typhoon pounds Taiwan, bringing fierce winds and torrential rains, sparking evacuations and leaving at least six people injured.Updated: Sep 14, 2008, 09:29 IST
A typhoon pounded Taiwan on Sunday bringing fierce winds and torrential rains, sparking evacuations and leaving at least six people injured, officials said.
Traffic was severely disrupted as Typhoon Sinlaku made landfall in northeastern Ilan county early on Sunday, packing winds of up to 173 kilometres (107 miles) per hour, the Central Weather Bureau said.
Hundreds of domestic and international flights have been cancelled on the island, and around 500 passengers were stranded in Kinmen airport, a Taiwan-controlled offshore island near the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen.
Power and telephone services were also disrupted to nearly 100,000 households as trees were uprooted by the strong winds.
Some 250 residents in northern mountain villages were evacuated to safety, said the National Fire Agency which coordinates Taiwan's rescue missions.
The typhoon lost momentum after making landfall but weather forecasters warned residents against relaxing their vigilance, saying the storm had brought heavy rains across the island.
"Its strength declined slightly, but the whole island remains surrounded by the typhoon. People should take precautions against the torrential (rains) which may trigger flooding and landslides," said a weather bureau official.
"Over the last six hours, the typhoon circled near Suao," a fishing port in Ilan county, the official said.
Six people were injured, including two hit by debris, while four were hurt when their bus crashed in southern Taiwan, the National Fire Agency said.
At 0100 GMT, the centre of the typhoon was 30 kilometres east-northeast of Ilan. With a radius of 250 kilometres, Typhoon Sinlaku was moving north-northeast towards Japan.