Taipei: At least six people were killed and over 100 injured on Saturday as typhoon Soudelor lashed Taiwan’s Hualien county, authorities said.
Soudelor made landfall earlier in the day which resulted in disruption of power supply to over 3 million households, the biggest power outage in the island’s history, Taiwan Power Company stated.
Taiwan’s meteorological agency said that a dozen cities and counties will experience extremely heavy precipitation of up to 350 mm or more in the next 24 hours, and the rest of the island could also see strong rainfall of 130 mm or more over the period. Some mountainous areas have even reported record accumulated rainfall of more than 1,000 mm.
Residents in central and southern Taiwan and mountainous areas have been warned of increasing winds and rainfall due to southwestern winds brought in by Soudelor. The storm was centered 50 km northeast of Penghu county in the Taiwan Strait and is moving at a speed of 18 km per hour.
According to the agency, Soudelor is still packing maximum sustained winds of 137 kph, with gusts reaching 173 kph. Giant waves 8 to 11 metres high were seen along the island’s eastern coast.All offices and schools were closed on Saturday. Department stores in Taiwan announced they would suspend business. High-speed rail lines and regular train networks have suspended services since Friday afternoon.
All airports have also been closed, with flights forced to land in other cities, including Hong Kong and Osaka.The typhoon is also expected to hit southeastern China’s Fujian province.