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Powerful typhoon slams into Taiwan's eastern coast; kills 2, injures 66

Taipei: A powerful typhoon lost power on Friday after slamming into Taiwan's eastern coast, bringing ferocious winds and torrential rains to the area.

It has killed two people and injuring 66 others. Planes and fishing boats were grounded, while more than 15,000 people were evacuated.

Typhoon Nepartak made landfall this morning in Taitung county before weakening to a medium-strength typhoon, the island's Central Weather Bureau reported.

The typhoon's center was located 20 kilometres east of the city of Kaohsiung early today and was moving northwestward at a speed of 13 km per hour, the bureau said.

The typhoon was likely to continue to slow, but disaster response officials said they remained concerned that the heavy rains would trigger floods and landslides in the rugged terrain.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Li Wei-sen, Taiwan's Central Emergency Operations Centre spokesman, said by phone that the typhoon was packing winds of up to 163 kmh.

About 390,000 households had been affected by power cuts, most of them in Pingtung and Taitung counties, according to Taiwan's emergency management service.

The island's railway services have been suspended, while more than 600 domestic and international flights were canceled and another 178 flights were delayed.

The typhoon was estimated to reach mainland China's Fujian province later on Friday.

Taiwanese authorities reported that more than 15,400 people have been evacuated from 14 counties and cities.

Taiwanese residents had been bracing for the impact of the storm. Restaurant owner Chen Mang-ning said on Thursday he had to put a lock on the rolling door of his establishment to protect the windows from strong wind.

"Yes, I am worried about it, same as everyone here," said fisherman Chen Chun-po.

Hong Kong's two biggest airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair, said they were canceling flights to and from Taiwan until afternoon on Friday.

In the Philippine capital, Manila, and outlying provinces, classes in many schools were suspended and at least six flights, including one scheduled to come from Taiwan, were canceled because of stormy weather and floods following monsoon downpours intensified by the typhoon, Filipino officials said.

Nepartak is a Micronesian word for a local warrior.

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2016 11:51 AM

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