Typhoon Nesat injures 81 in Taiwan

Taiwan’s first typhoon of the year has left 81 people injured and coastal towns flooded as the island braced for a second tropical storm on Sunday.


There were earlier reprts that two people had been killed. One man, climbing a mountain in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, died while trying to make his way down and a woman planting rice was killed by a planting machine which was blown over in the rice field.

Howling winds toppled motor scooters and hit people with flying glass, the Central Emergency Operations Centre said.

In Yilan county on the northeast coast, one person was blown down, another was struck by a wind-driven object and a third was injured when a utility truck flipped.

Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the northeast coast of Taiwan on Saturday evening with maximum sustained winds of 137km/ph and gusts of up to 173km/h, according to the national weather bureau.

All but two of the injuries were light, an operations centre staff person said.

The typhoon also left shops and streets in agricultural Pingtung county knee deep in muddy water after dumping about 600mm of rain.

More than 10,000 people, largely from Taiwan’s south, were evacuated before the typhoon and 1,612 were still in shelters Sunday morning.

Nesat caused the cancellation of 145 international flights and cut power to nearly half a million households.

The typhoon passed through Taiwan and reached Fujian province in southeastern China by 7am on Sunday as a less severe tropical storm, officials said.

Close to 70,000 people have been evacuated so far and dozens of trains and flights suspended in Fuzhou, the provincial capital, Fujian’s water resources department said.

Taiwan, meanwhile, is on alert again as a second tropical storm was due to make landfall on Sunday night.