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Four killed, scores injured as Typhoon Megi sweeps across Taiwan

Four people have been killed and more than 160 were injured after a large typhoon swept across Taiwan.

Typhoon Megi's bands of heavy rain and 100mph sustained winds had blanketed the island by mid-afternoon as the eye of the storm reached Hualien county on the east coast.

The 167 injuries included eight Japanese tourists who were hurt in a bus which overturned in central Taiwan.

The four deaths were as a result of fatal falls and a truck crash, said Lee Wei-sen, a spokesman for Taiwan's central emergency operations centre.

Authorities raised alert levels for the island, which is prone to landslides and flooding.

Rainfall had topped 12in in the mountains of south and eastern Taiwan by midday.

Megi is 310 miles in diameter and is expected to pass over the island's steep central mountain range later.

"The rainfall problem will get increasingly severe as the storm passes over," Mr Lee said.

"We've got to see whether the amount of rain has a big impact. The only good news is that it's moving fast on its way over Taiwan."

More than 8,000 people had been evacuated, mostly from mountainous areas at risk of landslides or floods. About 2,800 went to shelters.

More than one million households lost power, though 500,000 had been restored by Tuesday evening.

More than 121 flights were delayed and 253 cancelled at Taoyuan International Airport, while seven were diverted to other airports. Authorities had closed schools, offices and most of Taiwan's railway system.

Megi is the fourth typhoon of the year to hit Taiwan.

On the Chinese coast, about 100 miles from Taiwan at its nearest point, fishing boats were ordered back to port.

The typhoon is expected to reach Guangdong province and Fujian province in China on Wednesday morning, bringing as much as 15in of rain to parts of Fujian.



From Belfast Telegraph