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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Deadly Morakot slams into Taiwan

Typhoon Morakot slammed into Taiwan with winds of 199 kph dumping 1 - 2 meters of water on the island. The death toll was reported earlier at 6 people but this is rising with other reports saying 10 or more and many displaced to higher ground.

Typhoon Morakot Lashes Taiwan, Surges Toward China (Voice of America)

Forecasters at Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau say Typhoon Morakot made land fall late Friday, bringing with it winds of up to 199 kilometers per hour, and dumping between 1 to 2 meters of water on some areas.

The storm has downed power lines,damaged crops and forced the island's high-speed rail line to suspend operations.

Local television footage from northern and eastern parts of the island showed heavy waves lashing Taiwan's coast and some residents fleeing their homes as flood waters rose. Some were reportedly trapped and forced to wait for rescue workers to arrive.

Lo Ya-yi, a forecaster at Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau says the eye of the storm has already passed over Taiwan and the system is now headed toward China's eastern coast.

Lo says that while the eye of the storm has moved off of Taiwan's northwestern coast near the city of Taoyuan, the storm will continue to pass over the island, continuing to lash it with heavy rains and strong winds.

She adds that Taiwan will not be free of the storm until sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Video: Typhoon Morakot batters Taiwan (Al Jazeera):

Morakot leaves 6 dead or missing in Taiwan (Associated Press)

Typhoon Morakot made landfall in the eastern Hualien county late Friday night, the Central Weather Bureau said. It is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before it hits southern China late Saturday or early Sunday.

Morakot, packing winds of up to 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour), was centered about 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of the capital, Taipei, as of 10:15 a.m.
Saturday (0215 GMT) and was powering in a northwesterly direction at a speed of 7 mph (11 kph), the weather bureau said.

Morakot is projected to decrease to tropical storm strength before makign another landfall in mainland China later today.

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