Typhoon Batters Southern Parts of Taiwan, Leaving Two Dead

  • Nepartak crosses Taiwan to the south of expected path
  • Hundreds of thousands of homes lost power in affected areas

Typhoon Nepartak killed two and knocked out electricity at hundreds of thousands of homes as it brought heavy rains to eastern and southern Taiwan on Friday. Taipei, the northern capital city where financial markets were closed, saw light rains and wind.

As many as 390,000 households lost electricity. A man drowned on a beach in the eastern Hualien county, and another near the Matsu Islands off China, according to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency.

The first typhoon to form in the northwest Pacific Ocean this year had sustained winds of 155 kilometers an hour (96 miles per hour), the Central Weather Bureau said, slowed from an earlier speed of 198 kilometer per hour. The center of Nepartak entered the Taiwan Strait from the southern Tainan city at 2:30 p.m., according to the bureau.

A water tank rolled along a street in Taitung on the east coast, and trees and light poles were blown sideways by strong winds, cable news channel ETTV showed. A total of 306 international flights were canceled and the rail services were suspended, the fire agency said.

Eastern and southern counties recorded the most rainfall. Outlying Kinmen and Penghu islands were put on alert for heavy rains and strong winds, and a torrential rain warning remains in place for counties and cities across the island, the weather bureau said.

Taiwan’s biggest carrier China Airlines Ltd. said it gradually resumed flights from midday Friday, and the bullet train operator Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. said service would operate normally on Saturday.

The Philippines canceled some classes in the capital city of Manila today due to rains triggered by Nepartak. The storm is forecast to continue its westward path, making landfall in southeastern China’s Fujian province by Saturday, according to the nation’s meteorological administration. The region has already experienced severe flooding after days of record rainfall.

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