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Flights canceled, evacuations ordered as typhoon hits Taiwan

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Commuters are ferried on a three-wheeled tricycle locally known as "sidecar" after heavy monsoon rains spawned by tropical storm Fung-Wong flooded Manila and most parts of the metropolis.
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Taiwan evacuated more than 2,700 people from endangered areas as Typhoon Fung-Wong, which left at least 10 dead in the Philippines and caused Manila’s worst flooding in two years, approached packing wind gusts as strong as 75 mph.

Fung-Wong, Phoenix in English, was centered about 200 nautical miles south-southwest of Taipei Monday afternoon, moving northeast at 12 knots according to the U.S. Navy?s Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It will probably pass over Taiwan today before turning to a northwest track toward China?s east coast tomorrow, the center forecasts.

There were no reports of casualties in Taiwan as of Sunday night, the National Fire Agency said, while more than 9,000 houses were without power as of 2:55 p.m. local time, according to state-run Taiwan Power Co. Ninty-six international flights were canceled due to the storm, it reported.

Almost 200,000 people remain in evacuation centers in the Philippines as the death toll from Fung-Wong rose to 10 with seven others injured, according to the latest statement from the national disaster-management agency.

The storm submerged as much as 25 percent of Metro Manila in floods, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said. ABS-CBN showed footage of people wading through chest-high waters and residents trapped on the upper floors of their homes, while many were being rescued by boats.

Typhoons Fung-Wong and Kalmaegi, which struck a week earlier, will cost the Philippines $26 million in farm output, according to preliminary estimates by the Department of Agriculture.

Monsoon rains intensified by Fung-Wong dumped 10.6 inches of water over the northern Philippines in 24 hours, equivalent to half a month?s rain, the weather bureau said yesterday. Provinces north of the capital, including Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Tarlac, are still at severe risk of floods, it said.

Typhoon Ketsana, which killed more than 400 people in the capital five years ago, brought 18 inches of rain in 24 hours and inundated 60 percent of Metro Manila. Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever to hit land, killed more than 6,200 people in the Philippines and left more than a thousand missing in November 2013.

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