Typhoon Koinu injures 190, leaves thousands without power in Taiwan

Beijing/Manila, Oct 5 (EFE).- Typhoon Koinu has injured at least 190 people and left more than 62,000 homes and businesses without electricity in Taiwan, according to authorities on Thursday.

The typhoon was situated on the southern tip of if the island on Thursday morning.

Among those injured since Wednesday afternoon were seven motorists and scooter riders in Chiayi county and two in Kaohsiung who crashed into fallen trees, were hit by toppled trees, or fell due to strong winds while riding their scooters, according to CNA news outlet citing local authorities.

The worst damage has been in the southern county of Pingtung, where strong winds knocked down electricity and telephone poles and traffic signs, and tore roofs off buildings.

According to the electricity company Taiwan Power, the storm left more than 174,000 homes without electricity, although the service has started to be restored and on Thursday morning the number of homes without electricity had been reduced to 62,381.

The passage of Koinu also caused delays and cancellations for air and maritime traffic that affected 42 international and 182 domestic flights. Inter-island ferry services and those between the two shores of the Taiwan Strait were also interrupted, with 136 services on 15 routes suspended for the moment.

At midday local time (04:00 GMT) Typhoon Koinu was located about 60 kilometers west of the Taiwanese cape of Eluanbi and was expected to move west or turn west-northwest at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour, according to the latest report from the Taiwan Meteorological Administration.

Most of the island remains on alert for strong winds and torrential rains that could last until Friday, while on the southern and western coast the waves could reach seven meters high, the agency warned.

Koinu lashes Taiwan just a month after Typhoon Haikui, which made landfall in the southeast of the island in September, leaving at least 40 people injured and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

The storm arrived at the island after passing through the north of the Philippines, where strong winds and rains forced the evacuation of about 200 people, caused damage to 26 homes and forced the suspension of classes in about 100 locations, according to data of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The Philippines Meteorological Service on Thursday maintained alert level 3 out of a maximum of 5 in the north of Batanes, in the extreme north of the archipelago, due to the winds of between 89 and 117 kilometers per hour that are expected in the next few hours, with risks of falling trees damage to buildings.

No airport has closed so far, but several flights have been suspended. EFE


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