Typhoon Soulik lashes eastern China after deadly Taiwan landfall

300,000 evacuated from Fujian province as storm arrives after killing two in Taiwan

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 6:26pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 July, 2013, 6:06am

More than 300,000 people were evacuated in the path of Typhoon Soulik, which reached Fujian province yesterday after lashing Taiwan, where the storm killed two people, disrupted flights and knocked out power to a million homes.

Soulik, packing winds of up to 118 kilometres per hour, made landfall on the Huangqi Peninsula in Fujian at 4pm. Authorities in Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces were closely monitoring reservoirs and dams to prevent possible floods and mudslides.

Soulik crossed northern Taiwan overnight, leaving two dead and injuring more than 100.

The dead were a 50-year-old police officer who was hit by a falling brick in the Taipei suburb of Tanshui and a 54-year-old woman from central Miaoli county who died after falling from the roof of her home.

In Taichung, a man was missing after falling into a river. At least 104 people were injured, mostly by tree branches or flying debris.

About 250,000 homes were still without power yesterday afternoon, after more than a million lost electricity, Taiwan Power Co. said.

Soulik battered the northeast coast of Taiwan from 3am, with winds of up to 190 kilometres an hour, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

The onslaught continued for much of the day but at 5pm the CWB downgraded Soulik to a tropical storm as it headed into the Chinese mainland.

Nine people were rescued from flooded homes in Puli, a town in central Nantou county, which was also hit by landslides.

The northern village of Bailan saw the heaviest rain, with 900 millimetres over the past two days and winds gusting up to 220 kilometres per hour.

Streets were submerged under 30cm of seawater in the port city of Keelung, the National Fire Agency said, with flooding also reported in the coastal area of Yilan and in New Taipei City.

Local television reports showed roofs ripped from homes in northern Keelung and in Taipei, where 120 km/h winds and downpours disrupted power, uprooted trees and left the streets strewn with rubbish.

Schools and businesses throughout northern Taiwan were closed by government order on Friday, and the military evacuated 8,000 people from mountain villages considered vulnerable to flash flooding.

Airlines in Taiwan had resumed normal operations by 4pm, according to a statement on the website of Taoyuan International Airport. At least 526 flights to and from Taiwan were cancelled or delayed, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said in a statement.

About 5,500 soldiers have been sent to 18 counties for rescue operations.

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press