Power partially restored on Taiwan as typhoon kills 2

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Power was partially restored in Taiwan on Friday after a powerful typhoon slammed into the island’s eastern coast with ferocious winds and torrential rains, killing two people and injuring 72.

Typhoon Nepartak made landfall early morning in Taitung county, grounding planes and fishing boats. More than 15,000 people were evacuated.

By late morning, Nepartak had weakened to a medium-strength typhoon, packing maximum sustained winds of 163 kilometers (100 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 230 kph (143 mph), Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said. It was forecast to reach mainland China’s Fujian province Saturday morning.

In Taiwan, about 430,000 households were affected by power cuts, but half of them had electricity restored in the afternoon.

The island’s railway services also have been suspended, while more than 600 domestic and international flights were canceled on Friday.

Although the typhoon was losing power, disaster response officials said they remained concerned that the heavy rains would trigger floods and landslides in the rugged terrain.

Taiwanese authorities reported that more than 15,400 people have been evacuated from 14 counties and cities.

In the Philippine capital Manila and outlying provinces, government work and classes were suspended Friday while at least six flights, including one scheduled from Taiwan, were canceled due to stormy weather and floods in many regions drenched by typhoon induced monsoon downpours, officials said.

Nepartak is a Micronesian word for a local warrior.

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Associated Press writers Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.

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