Typhoon “Nesat” aftermath: 570 979 homes without power, over 109 people injured, Taiwan


Typhoon "Nesat" made landfall in an urban township of Su'ao in Taiwan's northeastern county of Yilan at 11:10 UTC (19:10 local time) on Saturday, July 29, 2017 with maximum sustained winds around 130 km/h (81 mph), producing massive waves of over 15 m (49.2 feet) and dropping very heavy rain. This is the first tropical cyclone to hit Taiwan this year.

Offices and schools across the island were closed ahead of the storm, and several parts of Taiwan announced continued office and school closures on Sunday. Traffic was severely disrupted, with many international flights canceled or delayed. Around 350 flights were canceled or delayed on Saturday.

According to Focus Taiwan, a total of 570 979 homes were left without power, more than 10 000 were evacuated and at least 109 people injured, mostly by falling objects or in car accidents, as Nesat marched through the country. Up to 584.2 mm (23 inches) of rain were measured in the southern region of Pingtung.

As of 08:00 UTC (16:00 local time) Sunday, July 30, power had been restored to 482 728 homes, with 88 251 still suffering power outages, including around 80 000 in Yilan County and 6 000 in New Taipei. Others still without power were in Hsinchu City, Pingtung County, Miaoli County, Taipei and Taitung County.

The Council of Agriculture issued code red landslide warnings for 15 rivers around Taiwan at around 04:00 UTC (12:00 local time) Sunday, mainly in Pingtung County, the worst hit by heavy rain. More than 200 residents were stranded and later rescued in the county. Yellow landslide warnings were issued for another 611 rivers in 13 cities and counties around the country.

199 schools around Taiwan were damaged, with the cost estimated at some NT$17.8 million (US$587 000), according to the data released by the Ministry of Education Sunday afternoon. No casualty was reported, the ministry said.

The data shows most of the schools reporting facility damage were located in Yilan County, with 75 schools there in need of repairs, followed by 66 schools in Taipei City, and 29 in New Taipei City.

Agricultural losses have reached NT$60.19 million (US$19.8 million) by 03:00 UTC (11:00 local time) Sunday.

As of 06:00 UTC (14:00 local time) Sunday, Nesat was a tropical storm located about 180 km (111 miles) WSW of Matsu, moving in a WNW direction at 11 km/h (6.8 mph) and packing maximum sustained winds of 100.8 km/h (62.6 mph), with gusts of up to 126 km/h (78.3 mph).

Meanwhile, another tropical cyclone named Haitang is approaching SE part of the country and is expected to make landfall around 12:00 UTC today (20:00 local time), bringing another round of heavy rain to regions already heavily soaked by Nesat. Residents in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan and Taitung should stay vigilant against downpours brought by the storm, which is expected to move northward along the coast of eastern Taiwan, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.

As of 06:30 UTC (14:30 local time), Haitang was located 80 km (49.7 miles) WSW of Eluanbi on Taiwan's southernmost tip. The cyclone was moving in a NNE direction at a speed of 22 km/h (13.6 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 72 km/h (44.7 mph) and gusts to 101 km/h (62.7 mph), according to the bureau.

Tropical Storm Haitang JTWC forecast track 09:00 UTC July 30, 2017

Tropical Storm "Haitang" JTWC forecast track at 09:00 UTC on July 30, 2017

It is very likely that the strength of Haitang will be reduced as it passes Taiwan because its structure might be broken by the terrain, forecasters said, adding that Haitang could be downgraded to a tropical depression.

The bureau said that strong southwesterly winds and rain could still affect central and southern Taiwan between next Monday and Thursday. 

Featured image credit: Kevin Lu l Storm Chasing

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