Typhoon kills one in Taiwan, heads for mainland
Updated: 2005-09-01 14:33
Typhoon Talim churned toward the Chinese China after sweeping through Taiwan on Thursday, killing one person and injuring 24 as the island shut businesses, schools and financial markets to ride out the storm.
The strong winds toppled billboards, broke windows and knocked motorcyclists off their bikes, while heavy rain led to flooding in some towns in central Taiwan.
The storm's eye was about two-thirds of the way across the narrow Taiwan Strait by 0500 GMT, putting the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou in its path. Gusts weakened to 180 kph (112 mph) from 227 kph, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said.
Talim was poised to make landfall in southeast coast of the Chinese mainland with sustained winds of up to 144 kph, but Taiwan would continue to be pelted with rain through into Friday, the bureau said.
"It's very close to the mainland coast," said a forecaster at the bureau. "We'll have strong winds here until the storm radius leaves Taiwan, probably some time tonight."
The island's disaster response center said one man in south Taiwan drowned in a fish pond on Wednesday after losing his footing.
Disaster response officials said 150,000 people were without running water and 300,000 had lost electric power. Thousands were also evacuated from mountain villages overnight.
The howling winds that had ripped through Taipei in the early hours had weakened by the time the city awoke, leaving a trail of uprooted trees and collapsed street signs.
"The winds were really fierce and it was very dangerous driving through the torrential rain last night," said taxi driver Tsai Ming-wang, who had just finished an overnight shift.
"I heard a loud bang and saw scaffolding had crashed into the street right next to my car. It was a close shave."
In the mainland, forecasters urged local authorities to batten down and many people had already been evacuated form coastal areas, the China Daily said.
"Talim is probably the strongest typhoon China will experience this summer," the paper quoted Zhang Ling, a senior expert with the National Meteorological Center, as saying.