Four killed, scores injured as Typhoon Megi sweeps across Taiwan

Typhoon Megi made landfall in Taiwan yesterday, the third storm to hit the island in two weeks, killing at least four people and injuring hundreds.

Flights and trains in Taiwan were disrupted by the approach of the typhoon Megi and most cities planned school closures for Tuesday (Sep 27).

Authorities raised alert levels for the island, which is prone to landslides and flooding.

Typhoon Megi, also known as Typhoon Helen as it passed through the Philippines earlier on Monday, was expected to make full landfall in the latter part of the day but has already brought violent winds and torrential rain. According to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center, more than 5,300 people have been evacuated and the country's main power supplier, Taiwan Power Co, said that at least 950,000 homes had lost electricity.

Most of the 52 people injured were on the east coast and in the central city of Taichung.

At Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport, tropical-force sustained winds were observed for upwards of 14 consecutive hours during the storm, with the peak wind gust clocked at 99 mph, according to meteorologist Jon Erdman.

The weather bureau said accumulated rainfall in mountainous areas could reach 1,300 millimeters before the storm moves on, increasing the risk of landslides.

With Megi now moving towards Taiwan, the Observatory advised travellers to be aware of local weather reports.

Taiwan Power Co (台電) said that about 2 million households were without power as of 7pm. Typhoon Meranti was the most powerful typhoon this year.

Megi is the fourth typhoon of the year to hit Taiwan.

At least 167 people were injured, including seven Japanese tourists and a local guide when their bus was bowled over by winds on a highway in central Taiwan, according to the national fire agency.

Hundreds of global flights were canceled or delayed, while train services, halted Tuesday, were also scheduled to be suspended until Wednesday afternoon.

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