Taiwan Cities Brace for Soudelor’s Pummeling With Closures

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Rain and outsized waves lashed Taiwan’s eastern coastline as a typhoon headed toward the island with winds reaching 130 miles (209 kilometers) per hour.

The capital city of Taipei ordered schools and offices closed after rainfall from Typhoon Soudelor was forecast to intensify late Friday. With maximum sustained winds of more than 100 miles per hour, the cyclone was expected to hit the Chinese mainland late Saturday, the China Meteorological Administration said.

A 38-year-old and an 8-year-old were killed Thursday after being swept out to sea in eastern Taiwan’s Yilan county, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center. Thirteen-foot waves crashed against moored boats in the county, Taiwanese cable network CTi Television reported.

Across the island, the public was advised to stay away from beaches and secure outdoor items such as signboards and plants. The storm was moving northwest toward the island at about 13 miles an hour, according to a Central Weather Bureau warning at 5:30 p.m. local time.

The storm is the fourth typhoon this year to trigger sea or land warnings in Taiwan, and could cause landslides in mountain regions and flooding in low-lying areas, the weather bureau said. Hsinchu, a northern Taiwan city with a science park and technology companies, also ordered schools and offices closed Friday evening.

Fifty-five flights in and out of Taoyuan International Airport were canceled on Friday as of 5:00 p.m., half of them flights between Taiwan and mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the airport said.