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Typhoon Fanapi moves away from Taiwan

2010/09/19 18:34:28

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The eye of Typhoon Fanapi left Taiwan andheaded for China at 6 p.m on Sunday after the storm dumped a largevolume of rain and triggered landslides in eastern and southernTaiwan, but no serious accidents were reported.

Weather forecasters said the typhoon, which made landfall ineastern Taiwan's Hualien at 8:40 a.m. Sunday, lost much of its powerat it moved west over Taiwan at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

Though the eye of the storm left the island Sunday evening, itsouter periphery is not expected to be clear of Taiwan until earlyMonday.

The counties of Hualien and Yilan in eastern Taiwan bore thebrunt of the storm, with Hualien experiencing gusts of up to 220 kph.

The strong wind broke a window of the Hualien Emergency OperationCenter and uprooted many trees around Hualien City.

Mountainous areas in eastern and southern Taiwan began to feelthe effects of the storm Sunday afternoon, after being hit bytorrential rains.

Forecasters predicted 700 mm of precipitation for Hualien andYilan counties and 500-1000 mm of precipitation for mountainous areassouth of Chiayi.

As of 5: 15 p.m. Sunday, Majia, Shangdewen and Weiliaoshan inmountainous parts of Pingtung County had recorded the mostprecipitation of anywhere in Taiwan over the previous 17 hours, with690 mm, 680 mm, and 631.5 mm respectively.

The heaviest recordings of rainfall felt in other parts of thecountry were in Kaohsiung County's Gangshan, with 489.5 mm, inHualien County's Sioulin, with 418 mm and in Yilan County'sTaipingshan, with 402.5 mm.

The storm also disrupted transportation around the country.Fifty-eight international flights in and out of Taiwan were canceled,and ferry service linking Gushan and Cijin in Kaohsiung City wassuspended early Sunday.

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. suspended all trains early Sunday,but it resumed service between Taipei and Taichung at 6 p.m. andplanned to restore service over the entire line from Taipei toKaohsiung at 8 p.m.

Domestic flight service linking Taiwan and the country's outlyingislands was suspended early Sunday and was not expected to berestored until Monday afternoon.

The downpours also triggered landslides that blocked mountainroads in the counties of Hualien, Taoyuan, Nantou, Chiayi, Kaohsiungand Pingtung.

The only highway to Alishan in Chiayi County, where 822 residentswere evacuated as a precautionary measure, was blocked by fallingrocks or mudslides.

In Hualien, 1,721 residents were evacuated from areas predisposedto mudslides.

The rain has filled many of Taiwan's reservoirs to full capacity,forcing some of them, such as the Shihmen Reservoir in TaoyuanCounty, the Mingde Reservoir in Miaoli County, and the BaiheReservoir in Tainan County to open their floodgates and releasewater.

Electricity maintenance workers had their hands full as power wascut off to around 314,000 households around the island. Power hadbeen restored to 140,000 of those households by Sunday noon, and wasexpected to be restored to normal for the other households by Monday,according to Taiwan Power Company.

(By Liu Chia-tai, Lin Shu-yuan, Shen Rui-feng, Lin Szu-yu, Chen
Shun-hsieh, Huang Kuo-fang and Maubo Chang)