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Typhoon injures over 80 in Taiwan, traps dozens

A man and motorcyclist fall as Typhoon Nesat hits Taipei

A strong typhoon swept across Taiwan on Sunday, injuring more than 80 people, forcing the capital to shut down essential services and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes.

Forty people were trapped in the southern parts of the island, mainly due to floodwaters, the government said.

Typhoon Nesat, a medium strength typhoon with wind speeds of around 119 km per hour (70 mph), made landfall on Saturday and is expected to lash the island over two days, affecting the south most heavily, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

More than 80 rescue workers were injured along with three other people who have been sent to hospital, the government said.

Many of the injured rescue personnel were hit by falling debris, with two suffering severe injuries.

In the capital Taipei, all work and scheduled classes were cancelled on Saturday evening and all of Sunday. The city shut down trash collection services, bike rental services, and altered its subway schedules.

Taiwanese international air carrier Eva Airways Corp said it had cancelled 42 round-trip flights, which will affect nearly 10,000 passengers.

Cities and counties across the island cancelled work and classes on Sunday as well.

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.

The storm made landfall in China’s Fujian province at around 10 a.m. (0200 GMT), China’s official Xinhua news agency said, but it weakened as it moved towards the northwest at 15 to 20 km per hour.

Chinese authorities had evacuated about 27,000 people away from fish farms in Fujian to brace for the storm’s impact, Xinhua said.

Another tropical storm, Haitang, was forecast to hit Taiwan on Sunday night and Fujian by Monday morning, the China Meteorological Administration said.

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