Typhoon Haikui makes landfall in Taiwan
Steph Deschamps / 6 September 2023
Powerful typhoon Haikui slammed into Taiwan on Sunday, where the authorities evacuated thousands of people and warned of high winds, flooding and gigantic waves.
Haikui, the first typhoon to pass directly over Taiwan in four years, was accompanied by sustained winds of 154 km/h with gusts reaching 190 km/h.
The typhoon made landfall at around 3:40 pm in Taitung, a mountainous region in the east of the island. "It's a little earlier than expected because it's moving faster," Yeh Chih-chun, a forecaster at Taiwan's Central Meteorological Bureau, told AFP.
In the Taitung region, residents are holed up indoors in the dark, away from windows. Huge gusts of wind are blowing uprooted trees and water tanks off their bases, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.
Across the island, more than 21,000 homes were without power. Most of them were back online by mid-afternoon, but around 9,000 were still without power when Haikui made landfall.
The last major storm to hit the island before Haikui was Typhoon Bailu, which claimed one life in 2019.
On Sunday, authorities reported two minor injuries in the eastern county of Hualien, where a tree fell on a car.