Typhoon leaves 1 dead, 4 injured in Taiwan

Typhoon leaves 1 dead, 4 injured in Taiwan
Commuters make their way through a flooded street in the suburbs of Manila on Sept 19, 2014. Heavy rains brought by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Fung-Wong shut down the Philippine capital on September 19, stranding motorists and forcing tens of thousands to flee their flooded homes, officials said.

TAIWAN - As of yesterday, one citizen had died and four were injured as Tropical Storm Fung-Wong hurtled across Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Center reported.

The centre said the 50-year-old victim, surnamed Hsu, was allegedly swept away by floodwater while cleaning the road outside his residence yesterday afternoon in Beinan Town, Taitung County. The victim's body was later found in downstream in the Beinan River, the centre added.

A 62-year-old man was injured by falling rocks behind an elementary school in Beinan, the centre said, adding that another two citizens were injured when they were riding bicycles in Taichung on Saturday night. A Chinese tourist was injured by a falling advertising board in Tainan and was sent to a hospital for treatment, the centre said.

CWB to Lift Land Warning Today

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said that it expects to lift its land warning for Tropical Storm Fung-Wong this morning and may lift its sea warning later this afternoon.

The centre of the storm is forecast to leave the northern coast of Taiwan around noon today, the bureau said, noting that, however, there are still chances of heavy rainfall in Central and Southern Taiwan. The weather across Taiwan will gradually stabilize after Wednesday, the CWB said.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the storm was moving in a northerly direction at about 22 kilometers per hour, the bureau reported. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 90 kph, with gusts reaching up to 119 kph, according to the bureau.

The storm mainly affected eastern and southern parts of the island, having brought heavy rain since Friday, with 917 mm recorded in parts of Taiwu Township in Pingtung County and 671 mm recorded in Jinfeng Township, Taitung County.

The Water Resources Agency (WRA) announced 8 p.m. yesterday that Suao, Dongshan and Tatung towns of Yilan County have reached a level one flood warning. Taitung's Taimali, Beinan, Jinfeng and Pingtung's Taiwu are still at a level one flood warning, the WRA said.

Suhua Highway Closed

The Directorate General of Highways closed one lane of the Suhua Highway connecting southern Yilan with Hualien at 7 p.m. yesterday and closed the highway completely at 9 p.m.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday announced the suspension of Huanlien's northbound and southbound services. Trains departing from Hualien to Yilan and Taipei were suspended after 8:30 p.m. last night, the TRA said, adding that trains traveling from Taipei to Yilan and Hualien were halted after 6:20 p.m. yesterday.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, a total of 108 flights had been affected by Tropical Storm Fung-Wong, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport reported. The airport said a daily average of 590 flights would depart and arrive at the airport, noting that 2 per cent of the total number of flights were delayed and 16 per cent were cancelled due to the tropical storm. The airport suggested that travelers confirm the latest flight status with their flight carriers.

Taipei Department of Transportation (DOT) yesterday announced the temporary suspension of the YouBike service - the city's public bike rental system - due to the expected torrential rain and strong winds brought by the tropical storm.

Precautionary Evacuation Carried Out

The Hsinchu County Government yesterday evacuated a total of 61 citizens - pregnant women, hemodialysis patients and patients who require long-term care - from Jianshi and Wufeng townships as a precautionary measure against torrential rain brought by the tropical storm.

The Taoyuan County Government yesterday afternoon evacuated 535 tourists from the county's mountainous area and stationed 21 rescuers in the area for emergency situations.

The military said yesterday that it has assisted in evacuating hundreds of residents in disaster-prone areas as Tropical Storm Fung-Wong moves through Taiwan. The military helped evacuate 272 residents and will continue its assistance if needed, said the Ministry of National Defence.

The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said Tropical Storm Fung-Wong has not caused severe damage to the country's vegetable production, also noting that there are sufficient supplies of vegetables in markets.

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