Typhoon Koinu: 1 Dead, More Than 300 Injured in Taiwan

Typhoon Koinu, signifying as “puppy” in Japanese, made landfall in southern Taiwan, resulting in a path of destruction in its wake. This strong strorm brought pounding rain and record-breaking winds, causing injuries, property damage, and disruption to daily life across the island.

Typhoon Koinu: 1 Dead, More Than 300 Injured in Taiwan

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Typhoon Koinu was a formidable meteorological event that set records in Taiwan’s history. It made landfall early Thursday in Cape Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of Taiwan, as a Category 4 storm, winds of up to 252 km/h (156 mph).

However, its most astonishing feat was the wind gust recorded on Orchid Island, southeast of the main island, which reached a staggering 342.7 km/h (212.9 mph) – the fastest wind ever recorded in Taiwan.

Sustained winds also reached unprecedented levels, reaching 198.7 km/h (123.5 mph). These values broke all-time records dating back to 1897 when Taiwan began keeping wind speed records.

The meaning of this meteorological event stretches out beyond Taiwan’s borders, as the gust appears to be the third-strongest ever recorded globally.

The destruction caused by such intense winds was substantial, with reports of downed trees, damaged buildings, and power outages affecting more than 62,000 homes and businesses.

Typhoon Koinu’s rage was not without consequences for the people of Taiwan. The storm brought about one casualty, with flying glass killing a person in the central city of Taichung.

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Moreover, the Taiwan Fire Department reported 304 injuries, most of them in cities along the west coast, including Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. These injuries ranged from falls due to strong winds to being hit by falling branches.

The storm’s strong breezes and weighty downpours made significant damage to buildings, infrastructure, and vehicles.

Images shared on social media showed buildings with broken windows, vehicles blown off roads, and boats sunk in harbors.

The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but it is clear that the impact on local communities and businesses is substantial.

Typhoon Koinu disturbed transportation networks across Taiwan. Most domestic flights and many international flights were canceled, affecting both domestic and international travel.

Ferries to outlying islands were also suspended, further isolating some communities. However, the high-speed rail connecting northern and southern Taiwan continued to operate as normal.

The economic repercussions of the typhoon are supposed to be huge. The closure of businesses, schools, and transportation services has disrupted daily life and economic activities.

Additionally, the cost of repairing and rebuilding damaged infrastructure will add to the economic toll of the storm.

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Authorities in Taiwan executed evacuation plans to ensure the safety of residents in high-risk areas. Evacuation centers and shelters were established to provide refuge for those in need. These measures aimed to minimize the risk to human life during the typhoon.

Fully expecting the storm’s effect, urban areas and provinces across the island took preventive measures by closing schools and suspending work. This was done to ensure the safety of students, employees, and the general public.

To prevent accidents and ensure public safety, the transportation ministry suspended most domestic flights and international flights. Ferries to outlying islands were also halted to avoid potentially dangerous sea conditions.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration played a crucial role in monitoring and tracking Typhoon Koinu. The accurate and timely information provided by meteorologists allowed authorities and communities to prepare for the storm’s arrival and make informed decisions.

Typhoon Koinu’s impact was not limited to Taiwan, as it had implications for neighboring regions, particularly southern China.

As the typhoon weakened and moved west toward Guangdong and Fujian provinces in southern China, local authorities there also took precautionary measures, including flight and train cancellations.

Coastal areas in southern China braced for the possibility of heavy rainfall and flooding caused by the remnants of the typhoon.

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