Heavy rains batter Taiwan

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Heavy rain starting Friday morning continues to inundate Taiwan on Saturday, with schools closed and traffic disrupted in central and southern parts of the island.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, there had been at least three fatalities, two missing and 35 having sustained injuries after heavy rain hit large parts of Taiwan with the arrival of a strong southwesterly airstream.

About 1,000 people were relocated or accommodated in temporary shelters, over 26,000 homes were left without power or water, and 302 flights were canceled or delayed, data from the island’s emergency operation center showed.
As the airstream is moving southward, Nantou County and Yunlin County Saturday morning announced that all government offices and schools would be closed in central and southern Taiwan.

Buses on 78 routes had suspended operation as of 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the highway administration.

A railway section from Yunlin to Chiayi counties was also closed, and flights to Lanyu and Ludao islands were canceled.

More than 2,000 passengers were stranded at the airport on Kinmen Island Friday, and two two military planes had been dispatched to help evacuate them.

The island’s weather bureau Friday night extended its extreme-torrential rain warning to Kaohsiung City and the counties of Hualien, Nantou, Chiayi and Pingtung, after it issued similar warnings for the northern cities of Keelung and New Taipei earlier in the day.

The southwesterly airstream is expected to leave Sunday, but rain is likely to continue until Monday, according to the weather bureau.

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