Typhoon hits Taiwan

A powerful typhoon has ripped into Taiwan, injuring residents, crippling transport and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from mountainous areas prone to landslides.

The Central Weather Bureau said Typhoon Fanapi, the first major storm to strike the island this year, made landfall in the eastern city of Hualien at 8:40am (40 minutes past midnight Irish time), packing winds of 89 mph and churning its way westward toward China at a speed of 12 mph.

The bureau said the typhoon had dumped as much as 21 inches of rain in southern Taiwan as of early afternoon, with much more to come.

According the Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Centre, 19 people in Hualien sustained minor injuries.

The centre also said officials evacuated 6,000 residents from remote areas vulnerable to landslides.

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