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Typhoon Haikui makes landfall in Taiwan, tens of thousands without power

UPI
Hundreds of fishing boats were anchored as a precaution against Typhoon Haikui Sunday at Nanliao Fishing Harbor in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Haikui made landfall later in the day, knocking out power to tens of thousands. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Typhoon Haikui made landfall in Taiwan on Sunday, leaving tens of thousands of residents and businesses without power while packing wind gusts of up to 111 mph.

Taiwan's state-owned electric utility, TaiPower, reported nearly 36,000 customers remained without power as night fell in the wake of Haikui, which made landfall at 3:40 p.m. in Taitung along the island's southeastern coast, becoming the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Taiwan in four years.

Heavy rain advisories remained in effect for Taitung County and several surrounding counties until Monday afternoon. The island's mountainous Pingtung County is forecast to receive as much as 2 feet of of rain over the coming days.

The official Central News Agency reported downed trees and utility poles, landslides and rockfalls in southern Taiwan. Nearly 7,000 residents were earlier evacuated from high-risk areas in the region.

After hitting Taiwan, Haikui -- the 11th typhoon this year -- was tracking across the Taiwan Strait toward mainland China, where Fujian and Guangdong provinces were put on alert for gale-force winds and torrential downpours by China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

In Hong Kong, weather officials announced they will issue a "No. 1" warning early Monday as Haikui move towards eastern Guangdong and southern Fujian provinces.

"It may make landfall over the region," they warned. "Its movement and intensity remain uncertain afterwards. Members of the public please take note of the latest weather forecast."

Haikui is barreling toward southern China as the region is still reeling from Super Typhoon Saola, the ninth typhoon this year, which made landfall in Guangdong's Zhuhai City on Saturday afternoon.

More than 50 people were injured and upwards of 500 people were forced out of their homes and into temporary shelters by Saola, which left flooding and major damage in the large port city of Shenzhen as well as nearby Hong Kong and Macao.

Saola was deemed the most powerful storm to hit Hong Kong in five years, and effectively paralyzed the city on Friday and Saturday.