Typhoon Nepartak pummels Taiwan | News | DW | 08.07.2016
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Typhoon Nepartak pummels Taiwan

Severe rain and wind brought by Typhoon Nepartak has killed at least three people and injured more than 140 in Taiwan. More than 15,400 people have been evacuated from homes as nearly 432,000 households lose power.

The super typhoon hit Taiwan Friday, driving thousands of people from their homes, disrupting power supply and forcing the cancellation of more than 600 flights, emergency authorities said.

"In many places, the water supply systems cannot function due to the lack of power supply," said Li Wei-sen, an official at Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center.

Winds gusting to more than 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph) were detected by weather stations, the Central Weather Bureau said.

At least three perish

One unidentified man died after being swept out to sea in the eastern county of Hualien late Thursday. A Taiwanese soldier on an island in the Taiwan Strait fell into the sea while fishing. His body was recovered early Friday. A 71-year-old woman in Taitung died when she was struck by a falling cabinet.

By mid-afternoon, the storm moved into the Taiwan Strait, weakening as it headed towards China's southeastern province of Fujian, but flooding and strong winds continued to lash the island's central and southern areas.

Tropical Storm Risk had rated the typhoon as category 5, at the top of its ranking, but it is now weakening and should be a tropical storm by the time it hits mainland China's Fujian province on Saturday morning.

Historically, typhoons were deadly events in China but authorities now enforce evacuations and take precautions well in advance, which has reduced casualties.

The powerful storms are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength over warm waters and dissipating over land.

jar/kms (Reuters, dpa)

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