Super Typhoon "Nepartak" hit Taiwan on July 7, forcing thousands to leave their homes and leaving a trail of destruction. At least 2 people have died and 69 were injured, according to latest reports.
Nepartak hit the eastern county of Taitung about 21:50 UTC on Thursday, July 7 (05:50 local time on Friday, July 8) with winds up to 234 km/h (145 mph). At least 69 people were injured, most with injuries to their heads and limbs caused by falling glass.
The spokesperson for Taiwan's central emergency operations center said 270 000 were left without electricity. On Thursday, one person drowned when heavy rains hit the region before Nepartak's arrival. Railway services were suspended, and more than 500 domestic and international flights canceled.
More than 35 000 soldiers have been put on standby to help with evacuations and disaster relief.
Meteorologist Robert Speta of the NHK and WestPacWx explains what happened:
Video courtesy Robert Speta
Nepartak moved over Taiwan rather quickly and is now heading toward East China for its second landfall.
At 03:00 UTC on July 8, Nepartak was located approximately 287 km (178 miles) SSW of Taipei, Taiwan. The system has tracked westward at 16.7 km/h (10.3 mph) over the past six hours. Nepartak's maximum sustained winds at the time were 166 km/h (103 mph). Station RCFN on the southeast coast of Taiwan observed sustained winds of 129 km/h (80.5 mph), with gusts to 183 km/h (114 mph) at 21:00 UTC on July 7. Its surface pressure was 964 hPa.
Nepartak has rapidly weakened as it started to interact with the complex topography of Taiwan and this weakening trend is expected to continue now that it has emerged over the Taiwan Strait.
Mainland China landfall (Fujian province) is expected sometime after 00:00 UTC on July 9. It will further weaken over eastern China as it gradually turns toward the north, with dissipation expected within 48 hours. Nepartak will exacerbate recent flooding along the Yangtze River and its tributaries. Over 120 people have lost their lives there this past week.
Typhoon "Nepartak" forecast track by JTWC at 03:00 UTC on July 8, 2016
Featured image: Super Typhoon "Nepartak" as seen from ISS