Super-Typhoon Lashes South Taiwan Leaving Thousands Without Power

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A truck is overturned in southern Pingtung county as Meranti hits southern Taiwan on Sept. 14.

Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images
  • Super-Typhoon Meranti cuts power to more than 200,000 homes
  • Some flights into and out of Kaohsiung airport cancelled

Record-breaking winds and heavy rains disrupted transport today as Super-Typhoon Meranti cut a path across southern Taiwan and headed toward China.

Almost 1,500 people required evacuation from threatened areas, the island’s emergency operation center said. So far no storm-related casualties have been reported. Taiwan Power Co., the state-run utility, estimated as many as 207,999 homes lost power on Wednesday.

Toppled trees and storefront signs were strewn about a thoroughfare in Kenting National Park’s Hengchun Township, images on Taipei-based Sanlih E-Television showed. Wind speeds in Hengchun measuring 52.2 meters per second (117 miles per hour) were the fastest since record-keeping began in 1896, according to the Taipei-based Apple Daily. Schools, offices and markets remained open in the capital of Taipei.

The super-typhoon comes just before a four-day weekend in Taiwan beginning Thursday, marking the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. A total of 142 international flights were canceled, the Central Emergency Operation Center said. The Taiwan Railways Administration suspended train service for routes in the south and east, while schools and offices in the areas were closed.

A local resident removes a rock from a blocked road.
A local resident removes a rock from a blocked road.
Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images

Cathay Pacific Ltd. canceled 10 flights between Hong Kong and the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung, according to its website. EVA Airways Corp. also canceled eight flights into and out of the city.

Meranti’s winds gusted as fast as 145 miles per hour as of noon, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The storm was moving northwest at 11 miles per hour.

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