Typhoon Meranti leaves 1 dead, 44 injured

Typhoon Meranti left one dead and 44 others injured in Taiwan even though the storm did not make landfall on the island, statistics released by the government's Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) showed Thursday.

In addition to the casualties, the storm left almost 1 million households without electricity and more than 720,000 households without water as it moved through the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan Wednesday, the statistics indicate.

After efforts to fix the power and water supply facilities, there were still about 400,000 households without power, and more than 360,000 without water as of 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the statistics.

The CEOC said that the households left without power and water were concentrated in southern and eastern Taiwan, which were the most seriously battered by Typhoon Meranti, with several cities and counties such as Pingtung, Kaohsiung, Hualian, and Taitung forced to close schools and government offices Wednesday.

Schools and offices remained closed Thursday in Pingtung, Kaohsiung, parts of Taitung and the offshore counties of Kinmen and Penghu.

Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, ??), the state-owned electricity supplier, said that about 195,000 households in Pingtung were still without electricity, the largest number among the country's cities and counties.

About 132,000 households in Kaohsiung were still without power, along with 21,000 in outlying Kinmen Island, 17,000 in Tainan, 5,600 in Taitung, and 1,700 in Chiayi County, Taipower said.

The CEOC said that the center was still tallying agricultural losses caused by the typhoon.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday, Meranti was centered 160 kilometers northeast of Kinmen, moving at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour in a northerly direction toward the Chinese mainland, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

Although Typhoon Meranti was moving away from Taiwan proper and heading toward China's Fujian Province, the storm was expected to continue to bring heavy rain to parts of Taiwan Thursday, the first day of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

The latter part of the four-day holiday could be affected by another typhoon -- Malakas, which is forecast to travel north off Taiwan's eastern coast later this week.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel