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Taiwan braced for Typhoon Sepat
Residents stock up on food and emergency supplies as storm approaches island.
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2007 09:06 GMT
Sepat is heading towards Taiwan's southeastern coast [US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration]
Taiwan residents are rushing to stock up on food and emergency supplies after officials warned that an approaching typhoon could be the most powerful storm to threaten the island this year.
 
The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning on Thursday for Typhoon Sepat which, early on Friday, was about 400km southeast of Taiwan's southern coast.
Sepat, packing sustained winds of 184kph, was moving towards Taidung county at a speed of 21kph, the bureau said.
 
Taiwan fishermen were told to return to port as the storm gathered strength.
The fringe of the storm could affect the island on Friday afternoon if it stays on its current course, and make landfall over southeastern Taiwan by Saturday morning, added the bureau.
 
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On Wednesday, the tropical cyclone intensified into a category 5 super typhoon to bring the Philippine capital, Manila, to a near standstill.
 
Monsoon rains induced by Sepat - a fresh water fish in Malay - flooded many parts of the city, causing monstrous traffic jams and forcing the authorities to suspend classes and close government offices.
 
More than 220 people were evacuated from flooded homes mostly in Manila's flood-prone suburbs of Marikina, Malabon and San Juan, according to the Philippine National Disaster Co-ordination Council.
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