TAIPEI (Reuters) – Domestic flights were canceled and about 4,000 people evacuated as Typhoon Haikoi made landfall in southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, bringing torrential rains and strong winds.
Haikui made landfall in a sparsely populated mountainous area in far southeastern Taiwan on Sunday afternoon, the first typhoon to hit Taiwan directly in four years. Provinces and cities in the region canceled classes and declared a day off for workers.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen told a meeting of disaster management officials that people should avoid going out and not climb mountains, hit the coast, fish or do water sports, according to a statement from her office.
The fire department said two people were slightly injured when a tree fell on a truck in the eastern province of Hualien. There were a few other reports of damage. In the capital, Taipei, there were only sporadic showers.
Haikui is a much weaker storm than Typhoon Saola, which hit Hong Kong and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Saturday.
The Taiwan government said 3,729 people had been evacuated, most of them in the south and east.
Taiwanese airlines canceled all domestic flights on Sunday, and ferry services to surrounding islands were also suspended.
The Civil Aviation Administration said the disruption to international flights was less, with only 41 flights canceled on Sunday.
The military has mobilized soldiers and equipment to assist in flood relief and evacuation efforts.
After passing through southern Taiwan, Haikui is expected to enter the Taiwan Strait and head towards China.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard. Additional reporting by Angie Teo; Editing by Jonathan Otis and Edwina Gibbs
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