Torrential rain triggered landslides and flooding across Taiwan on 2.08.2012, as Typhoon Saola skirted the island’s east and north coasts and headed towards China. Saola, locally called Gener, had battered the northern and central Philippines since 28.07.2012. Saola weakened into a tropical storm before making landfall on 3.08.2012 morning in China’s south-eastern province of Fujian with winds of 90 kph at its centre, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported. It was the second tropical cyclone to make landfall in China in little more than nine hours after Damrey hit 2.08.2012 night in the eastern province of Jiangsu and affected neighbouring Shandong province.
The death toll from Typhoon Saola rose on 3.08.2012 to 44 in the Philippines and Taiwan as storms and Typhoon Damrey made landfall in China, where two died and about 770,000 were evacuated.
The military helped more than 1,000 people flee from the less-populated mountainous north and east of the island, while in main cities including the capital, Taipei, most businesses, schools and financial markets were closed. About 100 domestic and international flights were cancelled, train services disrupted and roads closed. The National Fire Agency said that five people had been killed and 15 injured. Two people were missing.
Three of Taiwan’s top technology exporters, chipmakers TSMC (2330.TW) and Nanya Tech (2408.TW), and LCD panel maker AU Optronics (2409.TW), said none of their facilities were affected and they were running as normal.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has told authorities to be on the highest alert.
Wen, who usually leaves more junior leaders to oversee arrangements before storms, told authorities to step up preparations and “put people’s lives first”, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The Philippines recorded 39 deaths in floods and accidents caused by Saola’s torrential rains and strong winds, the Office of Civil Defence said.
The Fujian provincial government said it had evacuated 306,000 people by 3.08.2012 morning while the Ministry of Civil Affairs said the three eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong evacuated 461,000 people.
The Shandong provincial government said Damrey damaged nearly 30,000 buildings, killed two people and injured 29 in Rizhao. At least two people died and about 1,000 buildings were destroyed in Shandong’s worst-hit Rizhao area, which recorded 174 millimetres of rain brought by Typhoon Damrey on 3.08.2012 morning, the ministry said.
In the eastern coastal county of Hualien, authorities airlifted food and supplies to 279 residents of three villages isolated by washed-out roads, local reports said.
Agricultural losses were estimated at 218 million Taiwan dollars (7.3 million US dollars).
Dream Dare Win