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Friday, July 8, 2016, 17:40

Super typhoon Nepartak hits Taiwan, 2 dead

By Agencies

Super typhoon Nepartak hits Taiwan, 2 dead
In this image made from video, two people brace themselves in strong winds from Typhoon Nepartak in Taitung, south eastern Taiwan, July 8, 2016. (EBC via AP Video)

TAIPEI - Power has been partially restored on Taiwan after a powerful typhoon slammed into the island's eastern coast, killing two people and injuring 72.

Typhoon Nepartak made landfall Friday morning in Taitung county, grounding planes and fishing boats. More than 15,000 people were evacuated.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau says by late morning, Nepartak has weakened to a medium-strength typhoon. Nepartak is expected to reach the coast of Fujian province on Saturday morning. Authorities in the Chinese mainland renewed an orange alert for extreme weather Friday afternoon.

About 430,000 households were affected by power cuts, but half of them had electricity restored in the afternoon.

The island's railway services have been suspended, while more than 600 domestic and international flights were canceled on Friday.

Television broadcast images of strong wind and torrential rains brought by the year's first typhoon, whose approach had prompted Taiwan the Chinese mainland to batten down the hatches.

As many as 15,400 people were evacuated from their homes in preparation for the storm, while 187,830 households suffered power outages, emergency officials said.

"The wind is very strong," said a resident of Taitung, the eastern Taiwan city where the typhoon made landfall.

Super typhoon Nepartak hits Taiwan, 2 dead
In this image made from video, wind-blown debris litters the street from Typhoon Nepartak in Taitung, south eastern Taiwan, July 8, 2016. (EBC via AP Video)

"Many hut roofs and signs on the street have been blown off," the resident, who gave only her surname, Cheng, told Reuters.

One death and 66 injuries were reported. Bullet train service had been suspended, and more than 300 international and 254 domestic flights cancelled, an emergency services website showed.

On the mainland, 30,000 people have been evacuated and trains and flights were suspended.

A total of 37,521 people have been relocated in the coastal city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province as winds on the sea near the city grow stronger, affected by Nepartak, this year's first typhoon, according to Wenzhou's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The National Meteorological Center said the typhoon will continue to bring gales and torrential rain to coastal regions of Fujian and Zhejiang from Friday to Saturday, it said.

Zhejiang's maritime monitoring center predicted waves as high as three to four meters on Saturday night in waters south of the province.

On Friday, 170 flights were canceled at the airport in Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian province, and 245 in the airport of Xiamen city of Fujian.

Railway authorities in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, said the city's train station suspended 92 trains to coastal regions, including Fuzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, and Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, from Friday to Sunday.

The train station in Nanjing city, capital of Jiangsu Province, said 16 high-speed trains heading to Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces on Friday and Saturday were suspended.

Tourists on Gulangyu Island, administered by Xiamen city, were asked to return to the city before 4 pm on Friday, and the scenic spot will be temporarily closed.

Super typhoon Nepartak hits Taiwan, 2 dead
A woman struggles in the wind from Typhoon Nepartak in Taipei, Taiwan, July 8, 2016. (Chang Hao-an/Central News Agency via AP)

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