Taiwan flooded with almost 5 feet of typhoon rain
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A tropical storm inched across northern Taiwan on Thursday after already dumping up to five feet of rain that has flooded farmland, swollen rivers and paralyzed life on much of the densely populated island of 23 million people.
Saola weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm by late afternoon, but its slow movement and continuing heavy rains raised the prospect of devastating flooding in areas that have absorbed more than 150 centimeters (58 inches) of rain since Tuesday.
It has caused five deaths and left two people missing in Taiwan after killing 26 people in the Philippines.
In the day in the northeastern county of Ilan, rescuers used rubber boats and amphibious vehicles to help hundreds escape flooded homes.
Dozens of flights were canceled at Taipei's main international airport, where heavy winds destroyed two jetways, and rail transport throughout the island was disrupted. All seven major reservoirs in Taiwan released large quantities of water to prevent flooding.
By nighttime, Saola was centered just off northern Taiwan, moving northwest toward China at 17 kph (10 mph). It had sustained winds of 90 kph (54 mph), gusting to 119 kph (71 mph).
Offices and businesses were closed throughout northern Taiwan. In Taipei, normally busy streets were deserted except for cleanup crews clearing off fallen trees and branches. The Defense Ministry mobilized 48,000 soldiers to help mitigate the storm's impact.
Weather Photo Galleriesview all
- 13758Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9630Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9095Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 8238Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6533Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 6005Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 5369Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister