Typhoon Matmo barrels through Taiwan, dumps heavy rain

07/23/2014 08:29 AM

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Typhoon Matmo exited Taiwan early Wednesday from the central county of Changhua about four hours after its landfall in eastern Taiwan's Taitung County, dumping heavy rainfall islandwide, the Central Weather Bureau said.

As of 7 a.m., the storm was centered about 60 kilometers west-northwest of Taichung in central Taiwan, moving in a north-northwesterly direction at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour (kph).

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 119 kph, with gusts reaching 155 kph, the bureau said.

Matmo has weakened as it made its away across the island, but still has Taiwan, including the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, under its influence, forecasters said.

Torrential rains have drenched the island since Matmo approached eastern Taiwan Wednesday, with Sioulin Township in Hualien recording the most accumulated rainfall over the past 24 hours with 390 millimeters, bureau data showed at 7:30 a.m.

Many parts in eastern Taiwan's Yilan and Taitung counties to the north of Hualien also saw extreme rains overnight, with accumulated rainfall reaching 50 mm per hour, the bureau said.

Bureau data showed that strong gusts were seen islandwide, especially in northern Taiwan, where wind speed reached around 110 kph. The winds could weaken in the afternoon, the bureau said, but cautioned that heavy rain remains likely in most parts of the country, with possible mudslides and flooding in mountainous areas.

There have been no reports of serious damage although a pig farmer in New Taipei died when making storm preparations around his pens Wednesday afternoon and a person was reportedly swept away at a seaside scenic spot in Hualien earlier that day.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/jc

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