[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Typhoon Nanmadol hits Taiwan
Storm, which killed at least 12 people in the Philippines, dumps more than half a meter of rain in mountainous south.
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2011 03:08
Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to the risk of floods [Reuters]

Typhoon Nanmadol has slammed into Taiwan, closing schools, workplaces and government offices.

It has dumped more than half a meter of rain in the mountainous south, where vulnerability to catastrophic landslides prompted the evacuation of some 8,000 people.

Nanmadol made landfall just before daybreak Monday in Taidung county in the remote southeast and headed toward heavily populated coastal areas on the west coast. It is now packing winds of 108kph, down from earlier peaks almost twice that high. 

It is expected to pass about 200km south of Taipei before heading for the Taiwan Strait and the eastern China coast.

Steff Gaulter, Al Jazeera's senior meteorologist, said the main problems will be caused by excessive rain, rather than the strength of the wind.

"After the recent torrential rains on the island, the ground is saturated and this, combined with the mountainous terrain, could easily trigger deadly mudslides.

"So, although it is forecast to disintegrate quickly in about 12 hours time, it could easily change track or change intensity without warning."

As of 10 am (0200 GMT), many domestic flights had been canceled, and officials with Taiwan's high speed rail network, which serves heavily populated areas along the west coast, were weighing a suspension of services.

According to the website of Taipei's main international airport, almost all overseas flights were operating normally.

Nanmadol has killed at least 12 people in the Philippines and left another nine people missing.

Taiwan evacuated 2,500 villagers of the 3,700 people it plans to evacuate from the east and south of the island, the Central Emergency Centre said on Sunday.

Authorities urged the public to stay away from mountainous and low-lying areas while the defence ministry ordered 35,000 soldiers in the east to be on stand by.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list