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Strong Typhoon Meranti batters southern Taiwan

2016/09/14 16:37:46

(Photo by a local resident in Lanyu)

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Strong Typhoon Meranti hurtled towards southern Taiwan Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and strong wind, and knocking out power for more than 500,000 households.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Meranti was 60 kilometers west-northwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, packing gusts of up to 227 kilometers an hour, the strongest ever recorded by the Hengchun detection station since it was set up in 1896, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The radius of Meranti, the strongest typhoon to make landfall on Taiwan in 21 years, covered Hengchun in Pingtung County, areas south of Yunlin and Nantou and areas south of Hualien, bringing strong wind and dumping heavy rain on these areas.

Between 1 a.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday, rainfall totaled 707 millimeters in West Dawu (西大武山) in Pingtung, 436mm in Tienhsiang (天祥) in Hualien, 369mm Shangli (上里) in Taitung and 304mm in Taiping Mountain (太平山) in Yilan, according to the CWB data.


[Taitung]

Three areas in Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan experienced 3-hour accumulated rainfall of more than 100 millimeters Wednesday morning, according to the county government.

The Lan An Cultural and Educational Foundation on Lanyu (Orchid Island) off Taitung, which has been undergoing reconstruction due to damage inflicted by typhoon Nepartak, was also hit by the strong typhoon.

A pickup truck on the coast near the foundation was washed away by surging waves, while a van parked near Lanyu airport was blown over, local residents said.

Due to Meranti, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) announced that trains on the East Coast Line, the South Link Line, the Hualien-Taitung Line, and the Alishan Railway Line were canceled Wednesday.

Trains on the southbound West Coast Line were set to have normal operations from the north to Chiayi after 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to the TRA.


[Kaohsiung]

Meanwhile, five sections of provincial highways were damaged by the storm and nine sections were closed, according to the Directorate General of Highways.

Nearly 1,000 people living in mountainous areas in southern Taiwan have been evacuated due to Meranti, including 543 in Kaohsiung's Taoyuan District, and 120 in Chiayi's Meishan District.

The Kaohsiung city government, meanwhile, issued flood warnings for 16 rivers in Taoyuan District.

(By Tyson Lu, Wang Shwu-fen, Huang Kuo-fang and Evelyn Kao)
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