Taiwan braces for second storm after Nesat injured 103
Power was knocked out to about half a million homes at one point. As of Sunday morning, the government said about 360,000 households had their electricity restored. Photograph: (Reuters)
Taiwan braced for its second storm in two days on Sunday after Typhoon Nesat battered the island, leaving at least 103 injured while causing flooding and widespread power outages.
Much of Taiwan came to a standstill on Saturday after Nesat made landfall in eastern Yilan county, whipping up massive waves of over 49.2 feet (approx 15 metres) and dumping rain of up to 23 inches (58 centimetres) in the southern region of Pingtung.
It moved away from Taiwan Sunday as tropical storm Haitang churned towards the south of the island, likely to make landfall in the evening according to the Central Weather Bureau.
It is the first time in 50 years that Taiwan has issued warnings for two typhoons.
"Haitang is gaining some strength and it is expected to bring heavy rains to central and southern Taiwan from tonight to tomorrow," forecaster Lin Ting-i said.
The storm was 170 kilometres (105 miles) southwest of Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of the island at 0300 GMT.
More than 10,000 people had to be evacuated on Saturday, with 5,338 soldiers deployed for disaster relief.
Most train services were suspended and more than 300 domestic and international flights cancelled or delayed.
At least 103 people were injured, mostly by falling objects or in car accidents while some slipped in the bad weather, according to the central emergency operation centre.
Nearly half a million households were without electricity as Nesat pounded the island with downpours and winds of up to 180 kilometres an hour.
Pingtung suffered the worst flooding as of Saturday night, with some 200 residents stranded and later rescued.
Images showed flooded homes and motorcyclists pushing their vehicles through water.
Around 140,000 households were still without electricity on Sunday, though rail services had mostly resumed.
TV footage showed soldiers sending food to some homes in Pingtung where streets remained flooded.
Taiwan's second largest airline EVA Airways said it had cancelled around 50 flights after more than 500 flight attendants took typhoon days off, affecting around 30,000 passengers.
Although Nesat was Taiwan's first typhoon this year, the island was pounded by heavy rains last month. At least one person was killed after 600 millimetres of rain fell in under 11 hours in some areas.
Nesat made landfall in Fuqing city, China's southeast Fujian province, at around 6 a.m. local time Sunday, according to state media, with authorities issuing a red typhoon alert -- the highest in China's four-tier, colour-coded warning system.
Emergency response efforts have begun in neighbouring Zhejiang province, where more than 3,000 people have been evacuated, China News Service reported.
Another typhoon, “Begonia”, is expected to make landfall in Fujian either Sunday evening or Monday morning.