Super typhoon Dujuan kills, injures hundreds in Taiwan

2015-09-29 07:28
A local resident collects stones from the Xindian river after Typhoon Dujuan passed in the New Taipei City. (Sam Yeh, AFP)

A local resident collects stones from the Xindian river after Typhoon Dujuan passed in the New Taipei City. (Sam Yeh, AFP)

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Taipei - Super typhoon Dujuan has killed two people and left more than 300 injured in Taiwan, authorities said on Tuesday after it swept across the island before making landfall in eastern China.

Almost half a million people are still without electricity in Taiwan as the storm left a trail of destruction in the north of the island.

It hit the Chinese coastal city of Putian on Tuesday morning, state news agency Xinhua said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

Many of those injured in Taiwan were hit by flying debris or involved in traffic accidents, the Emergency Operation Centre said, putting the death toll at two and the number of injured at 324.

Severe winds uprooted trees and smashed windows while heavy rains triggered multiple landslides.

More than 12 000 people have been evacuated and almost 3 000 are in temporary shelters, authorities said.

Taiwan's aboriginal mountain communities are particularly at risk during typhoons, often affected by flooding and mudslides.

Landslides blocked the roads into the hot spring town of Wulai, in mountains just outside the capital Taipei.

It was the latest hit for Wulai which was severely damaged by flooding and landslides in August when Typhoon Soudelor hit, with some residents unable to return home for weeks.

Many shops and hotels were still rebuilding even as the latest typhoon struck.

"The roads are blocked but residents aren't in any immediate danger," a spokesperson for New Taipei City fire department told AFP.

Dujuan was categorised as a "super typhoon" by regional forecasters, taking residents by surprise as it sped up before making landfall late Monday in the eastern county of Yilan.

It was downgraded to a "moderate typhoon" by Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau as it crossed the island.

"It's expected the typhoon will continue to weaken and its radius to keep shrinking," the weather bureau said.

Schools and offices in Taiwan remain shut on Tuesday and the stock market is also closed.

At the peak of the storm two million homes were left without electricity, on Tuesday morning 498 458 were still without power.

Towering waves crashed through windows at a seaside hotel in eastern Yilan while fierce winds also caused damage at Taipei's famous 101 skyscraper.

In Hsinchu City, a crane fell from 20 storeys onto cars below but no one was injured, local reports said.

Performances by US rock band Bon Jovi, due to take place in Taipei on Monday and Tuesday, were cancelled.

China's National Meteorological Centre issued a red alert on Monday afternoon, Xinhua reported, adding that 260 000 people have been evacuated in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

Tens of thousands of boats were called back to shore in Zhejiang and neighbouring Fujian province while all flights at three airports in Fujian were cancelled Tuesday, state media said.

Typhoon Soudelor caused at least eight deaths in Taiwan last month and killed 21 people in China.

Read more on:    taiwan  |  weather

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