4 Dead as Typhoon Soudelor Batters Taiwan

By: Benjamin Yeh, Agence France-Presse
August 8, 2015 9:25 AM

2015-0810 4 Dead as Typhoon Soudelor Batters Taiwan

A basket stadium in Taipei is flooded by the Jingmei river as typhoon Soudelor hit Taiwan Saturday. (photo by Sam Yeh, AFP)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — (UPDATE – 11:29 a.m.) Typhoon Soudelor (Hanna) battered Taiwan with fierce winds and rain Saturday leaving four people dead and a trail of devastation before heading for mainland China.

After making landfall on the east coast in the early hours of the morning it swept across central Taiwan ripping up trees, snapping wind turbines and triggering a landslide in one remote village in the northern region of Taoyuan.

All of the villagers had been evacuated in advance.

“Flash mudslides surged into the village. About 10 of the homes were half buried but people were evacuated last night and are in safe shelters,” a spokesman for Taoyuan fire agency told AFP.

Almost 700,000 homes remained without power across Taiwan with torrential rains leaving some areas waist-deep in water.

The typhoon was pushing through central Taiwan towards the mainland Chinese province of Fujian, where 158,000 people have already been evacuated.

Authorities said four people had died in the storm including a firefighter in southern Pintung county and a man in the coastal town of Suao who was hit by a falling billboard.

An eight-year-old girl and her mother had become the first casualties when they were swept out to sea and died as the storm approached.

Thousands have been evacuated, with 1,300 people in temporary shelters across the island. All schools and workplaces were shut on Saturday.

The typhoon made landfall in the town of Hsiulin in eastern Hualien county at 4:40 a.m. Saturday (2040 GMT Friday) before zigzagging across the center of the island.

(Source: InterAksyon.com)

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