Tembin affects thousands in S. Taiwan

Above: Fishing boats washed ashore which has been toppled by Typhoon Tembin in Lanyu Township, Taitung County,on Taiwan's offshore Lanyu island (or Orchid island).

TAIWAN - Tropical Storm Tembin has left three people injured and tens of thousands of people without power in southern Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Center reported Tuesday.

Three residents on the outlying Lanyu (also known as Orchid Island) were injured after waves up to 6 meters high ripped off the roofs of their homes, the centre said.

The centre said that nearly 3,000 people in Southern, Eastern and Central Taiwan had been evacuated to temporary shelters, while large-scale power failures were reported in Kaohsiung, as well as in Pingtung and Taitung counties, affecting more than 15,000 people. Seventeen schools in the county have been damaged by the storm, according to the Central News Agency.

One road in Southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City and one in northeastern Yilan County were being repaired after sustaining damage by the storm. Agricultural losses were estimated at NT$196.87 million (S$8.25 million).

A tour bus was blown off the road by strong gusts into the highway slope at the Madou section of National Highway No. 1 in Tainan early yesterday, injuring the driver and seven passengers. All eight were discharged from the hospital after brief treatment.

Air traffic was also disrupted, with 29 domestic flights and five international flights either cancelled or delayed, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

The chaos followed the return of Tembin, which was making its second pass over Taiwan in less than a week.

Back to Tropical Storm

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) re-downgraded Tembin to a tropical storm at 11 a.m. yesterday.

The storm skirted Taiwan's southernmost tip overnight, dumping heavy rain in the southern and southeastern part of the island, and continues to threaten parts of Taiwan despite no longer packed typhoon-strength winds, the Central Weather Bureau said Tuesday.

Tembin drenched southern and southeastern areas after its eye passed over waters about 10 km south of Eluanbi overnight.

Hungyeh Mountain in southeastern Taiwan was the area hardest hit by the storm Tuesday morning, recording accumulated precipitation of 144 mm between midnight and 10:40 a.m., bureau data showed.

Due to the influence of the stronger Typhoon Bolaven, which is currently hovering near the Korean Peninsula, Tembin was being drawn up Taiwan's East Coast at an accelerated speed, according to the bureau.

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