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Taiwan coast is lashed by typhoon

September 14, 2008|From the Associated Press

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Typhoon Sinlaku slammed into Taiwan with heavy rain and strong winds today, flooding low-lying regions and causing landslides that disrupted traffic and halted trains and domestic flights, officials said.

Sinlaku made landfall in Ilan county in northeast Taiwan at 1:30 a.m. but quickly turned and headed back out to sea, the Central Weather Bureau said.

"It's hanging around at the ocean near our coasts," said meteorologist Lee Hsiang-yuan. "It may move north, but we will not rule out another landfall on Taiwan."

Domestic flights were canceled, trains stopped running and several mountain highways were blocked by landslides, according to the Disaster Relief Center.

The center warned that 55 rivers are prone to flash flooding and told people living nearby to take precautions.

More than 300 people were evacuated overnight from low-lying areas in Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties in northern Taiwan, it said.

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