Taiwan spared as Maria misses island

China | 12 Jul 2018

Schools and offices were closed in parts of Taiwan yesterday as Typhoon Maria skirted the island, bringing torrential rain and strong winds.

Officials had warned of floods and landslides, evacuating thousands of people, but the storm weakened as it approached Taiwan and moved past to the north.

Downpours of up to 100 millimeters hit some areas overnight, and strong winds were still expected as the storm moved northwest.

People were told to avoid the coast, where waves of up to nine meters were recorded.

Television images showed trees felled overnight and blocking some roads in the mountains north of the capital Taipei.

While official statistics did not record any fatalities, local media reports said a man fell to his death when he was checking the windows at his home. Nearly 3,500 people were evacuated across the island from areas prone to floods and landslides, with more than 2,000 soldiers mobilized.

Some 43,000 households in Taiwan lost power at the typhoon's peak, and hundreds of flights were affected.

Maria is the first typhoon of the season for Taiwan, and damage was limited for the island.

Maria made landfall in China's Fujian province later yesterday morning, Xinhua said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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