Taiwan hit by second storm in two days

Tropical storm Nesat brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to eastern and southern parts of Taiwan on Saturday (July 29), flooding streets and homes.
Soldiers on their way to deliver food and water to people stranded in flood-hit areas in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, yesterday.
Soldiers on their way to deliver food and water to people stranded in flood-hit areas in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, yesterday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
A worker clearing up the damage caused by Typhoon Nesat in Taipei yesterday. More than half a million homes were left without power, and crops were destroyed.
A worker clearing up the damage caused by Typhoon Nesat in Taipei yesterday. More than half a million homes were left without power, and crops were destroyed.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Haitang brings more rain and floods in some areas; over 300 flights cancelled or delayed

Taiwan braced itself yesterday for the second storm to hit the island in two days, even as it picked up the pieces from the trail of damage left by the first storm, Typhoon Nesat.

Tropical storm Haitang grazed the southern part of the island, dumping heavy rain in Kaohsiung and Pingtung. Taipei in the north also experienced torrential winds.

The storm was moving in a north-northwesterly direction at 22kmh, packing maximum sustained winds of 72kmh, with gusts of up to 101kmh, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

So far, it has done little damage, except for flooding in some cities.

The bureau said Haitang dumped up to 600mm of rain in Pingtung.

Kaohsiung and Pingtung have announced that schools and offices will stay shut today.

The weather bureau said Haitang weakened as it crossed over Taiwan's central mountain range. Train services were suspended on Saturday due to Typhoon Nesat, but resumed yesterday afternoon.

Typhoon Nesat, the first to hit Taiwan this year, pummelled the island on Saturday, injuring as many as 126 people and causing flooding and widespread power outages.

Taiwan issued warnings for the two storms together, the first time in 50 years that it has done so.

  • 126 People injured by Typhoon Nesat.

    200 Number of damaged schools.

Chaos reigned mostly on the eastern part of Taiwan, with Pingtung the worst hit by Nesat. Most people were hurt by falling debris, while others fell due to slippery conditions.

Fierce winds and lashing rain toppled trees and knocked out power and communications in more than half a million homes, said the Central Emergency Operation Centre.

Nearly 200 schools reported damage costing an estimated NT$17.8 million (S$800,000). Farmers were also affected, with estimated agricultural losses of NT$60 million. Crops like guavas, bamboo shoots and bananas were destroyed, while chickens and pigs were lost in the storm.

Yesterday, Premier Lin Chuan said the authorities are dispatching emergency crews to alleviate the flooding in affected areas. More than 10,000 people had to be evacuated on Saturday, with 5,338 soldiers deployed for disaster relief.

More than 300 domestic and international flights were cancelled or delayed, affecting more than 10,000 passengers.

In Singapore, Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights to Taipei and a China Airlines flight to Kaoshiung which had been delayed by Typhoon Nesat finally departed Changi Airport yesterday, according to the airport's website. Two SIA flights from Taipei also arrived in Singapore later than scheduled yesterday.

At least one flight from Singapore to China was also affected. A Scoot flight slated to depart Changi Airport early yesterday for Shenyang was delayed by about three hours due to the typhoon.

A spokesman for Scoot said that Flight TR166 left Singapore at 5.48am, and passengers were informed in advance of the delay through SMS notifications.

Apologising for the inconvenience caused, the spokesman said: "As part of the flight schedule changes, a replacement aircraft with smaller capacity was deployed for the Singapore-Shenyang flight.

"Affected passengers who were unable to board the replacement flight were offered alternative flight arrangements and hotel accommodation."

• Additional reporting by Felicia Choo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'Taiwan hit by second storm in two days'. Print Edition | Subscribe