Typhoon Fanapi hits Taiwan, bringing heavy rainfall

15:09, September 19, 2010      

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Business stopped in Taiwan Island Sunday as a powerful typhoon made landfall, bringing heavy rains and strong wind gusts as local officials scrambled to prevent a repeat of the devastation caused by a 2009 storm.

Typhoon Fanapi, the most severe storm so far in 2010 with wind gusts of up to 198 kph, had canceled all flights in the island and a handful of international ones Sunday.

Fears of high winds had also shut down the island's biggest ports, in Kaohsiung and Keelung.

Officials are on high alert after Taiwan's worst typhoon in five decades triggered mudslides that killed about 700 people in August 2009.

Local governments across the island issued warnings to suspend work and school. About 6,500 people in mountain villages prone to mudslides were evacuated late on Saturday.

Fanapi, a category 3 typhoon on a 1-5 scale, was expected to envelop all of the Taiwan Island Sunday. The local weather forecasting agency issued warnings for sustained winds of up to 162 kph as rainfall rose as high as 305 mm in the northeastern mountains.

The southeastern Fujian Province in China’s mainland has already evacuated more than 6,000 people from their homes and to safe areas, and some flights have been cancelled, according to press reports.

By People's Daily Online / Agencies


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