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Typhoon “Haikui” makes landfall in Taiwan

typhoon haikui 0740z september 3 2023 himawari-9 f

Typhoon “Haikui” made landfall in Taiwan’s mountainous and sparsely populated eastern county of Taitung, along the coastal township of Donghe, at about 07:40 UTC (15:40 LT) with winds up to 155 km/h (96 mph).

  • Haikui is the first typhoon in 4 years to directly hit Taiwan. The last major tropical cyclone to hit the country was in 2019 when Typhoon “Bailu” left one person dead.
  • It is also the first Category 3+ typhoon to hit the island since Typhoon “Megi” in 2016.

Ahead of the landfall, authorities in eastern Taiwan ordered the evacuation of nearly 4 000 people from high-risk areas across 7 cities, grounded some 250 flights, and closed schools and offices. Residents were urged people to be on guard — avoid going out and refrain from doing any dangerous activity.

The typhoon brought strong winds and heavy rains as it made landfall, forcing residents to hunker down indoors and stay away from windows as strong gusts sent toppled trees and dislodged water tanks flying in the air.

Across the island, more than 21 000 households lost power, and while most resumed by mid-afternoon, about 9 000 were still without electricity when Haikui hit, AFP reported.

Two minor injuries were reported in Hualien County after a fallen tree hit a car.

While the military has mobilized rescue teams around the parts of the island where the heaviest damage is expected, the impacts are expected to be less severe than those caused by Super Typhoon “Saola” which bypassed Taiwan just a few days ago.

After moving close to Taiwan, Saola passed south of Hong Kong and Macau as a strong Category 4 cyclone, battering the area with strong winds and heavy rain. The system then weakened into a Category 3 as it made landfall in Guangdong, China early Saturday, September 2. 

After the landfall, Saola weakened into a strong Category 2 typhoon and then into a severe tropical storm a few hours later. The cyclone dissipated on September 3, with its remnants causing rainfall and stormy conditions across Southern China.

In Hong Kong, Saola left at least 86 people injured. Hong Kong authorities said they received more than 1 500 reports of fallen trees, 21 cases of flooding, and 2 reports of landslides.

typhoon haikui 0740z september 3 2023 himawari-9
Typhoon “Haikui” at 07:40 UTC on September 3, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
typhoon haikui jtwc fcst 09z september 3 2023

References:

1 Typhoon Haikui makes landfall in Taiwan – AFP – September 3, 2023

2 Two injured, thousands left without power as Typhoon Haikui hits Taiwan – CNN – September 3, 2023

Featured image: Typhoon “Haikui” at 07:40 UTC on September 3, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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