Taiwan once again went into shutdown on Tuesday as the island faces its third typhoon in two weeks. The typhoon caused landfall in Taiwan and leaves the trail with thousands evacuated, schools and offices closed across the island and hundreds of flights disrupted.
More than 50 people were injured as the typhoon brought violent winds and torrential rain across the island throughout the morning before making landfall at 2:00 pm (0600 GMT). The Central News Agency said a bus was bowled over by winds on a highway in the centre of the island, injuring three Japanese tourists.
According to the Central Emergency Operation Center, More than 8,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and around 2,000 are in shelters.
After-effects of the ‘Megi’ in Taiwan
About 36,000 households have lost power due to the typhoon so far. A total of 575 international and domestic flights were cancelled as of today morning, and 109 delayed. Most trains were also halted. In the capital Taipei, which was also lashed by downpours and winds, bus services and overground metro trains were suspended as some roads were flooded.
More than 900 millimetres (35 inches) of rain had fallen in mountainous areas of Yilan as of Tuesday afternoon, reports said. Television footage showed powerful waves surging past breakwaters in northeastern Yilan county and outlying Orchid Island.
Ahead of the storm, more than 3,700 tourists had already been evacuated at the weekend from Orchid Island and Green Island — both popular with visitors.
Typhoon ‘Megi’ is moving at 16 kilometres an hour — slower than previously forecast — delaying the time of landfall to around 0900 GMT on Tuesday, according to Taiwan’s weather bureau. “Typhoon Megi has maintained its strength after making landfall and will continue to bring strong winds and rains till tomorrow morning,” said forecaster Shang Ching-sheng.
Hualien and Taitung, which are also popular with visitors for their coastlines and landscapes, will be in the firing line.
Those areas are still trying to recover from damage brought by Super Typhoon Meranti earlier this month (the strongest storm for 21 years to hit Taiwan).
Meranti, which left one dead in Taiwan before killing another 28 as it moved to eastern China, was followed closely by the smaller Typhoon Malakas. Mountainous regions in eastern Taiwan could see a total of up to 900 millimetres of rain through Wednesday, increasing the risk of landslides.
More than 35,000 soldiers are on standby to help with disaster relief.