Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) Typhoon Soudelor made landfall in eastern Taiwan's Hualien County early Saturday, pummeling the island with strong gusts and torrential rain, the Central Weather Bureau said.
The streets in Taipei, which is in the northwest of the island, were strewn with fallen trees and debris as initial reports said several people were injured around the island, some of whom were hit by falling signboards.
The eye of Soudelor hit the land in Sioulin Township at 4:40 a.m., and as of 6 a.m., the storm was centered 60 km west of Hualien, making its way across the island's central mountains at a speed of 19 km per hour in a west-northwesterly direction, the bureau said.
It is packing maximum sustained winds of 173 kph, with gusts reaching 209 kph, it said.
[From the Central Weather Bureau website]
The storm could start weakening, forecasters said, but warned against wind gusts reaching some 150 kph and extreme rainfall -- an accumulation of 350 millimeters or more in 24 hours -- across Taiwan.
Between midnight Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday, Taiping Mountain in eastern Taiwan's Yilan County topped all regions with an accumulated rainfall of 1,099 mm, bureau data showed.
Suao Township in Yilan County saw the strongest winds during that period, with gusts reaching over 240 kph.
On its current path, Soudelor could move out into the Taiwan Strait later in the morning, forecasters said.