TAIPEI, Sept. 3 (Reuters) – Domestic flights were canceled and about 4,000 people were evacuated as Typhoon Haikui made landfall in southeastern Taiwan on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.
Haikui made landfall in a sparsely populated, mountainous area far southeast of Taiwan on Sunday afternoon, the first typhoon to directly hit Taiwan in four years. Provinces and cities in the region canceled classes and declared a day off for workers.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said at a meeting of disaster management officials that people should avoid going out and not climb mountains or the coast, fish or practice water sports, according to a statement from her office.
The fire department said two people were slightly injured when a tree fell on a truck in eastern Hualien County. There were a few other reports of damage. In the capital, Taipei, there were only scattered rain showers.
Haikui is a much weaker storm than Typhoon Saola, which struck Hong Kong and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Saturday.
The Taiwan government said 3,729 people had been evacuated, most of them in the south and east.
Taiwanese airlines canceled all domestic flights on Sunday, and ferry services to surrounding islands were also suspended.
The Civil Aviation Administration said there was less disruption to international flights, with only 41 flights canceled on Sunday.
The army mobilized soldiers and equipment to assist in flood relief and evacuation efforts.
After passing through southern Taiwan, Haikoi is expected to enter the Taiwan Strait and head towards China.
Ben Blanchard reports. Additional reporting by Angie Teo; Edited by Jonathan Oatis and Edwina Gibbs
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