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Typhoon Sepat hammers Taiwan

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Power out in 70,000 homes in Taiwan after typhoon makes landfall
  • Flights canceled at airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung
  • China's Fujian province bracing for Sepat Saturday evening or Sunday morning
  • Major roads outside Manila flooded with water up to 1.5 meters deep
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TAIPEI, Taiwan (Reuters) -- Strong wind and rains lashed Taiwan as Typhoon Sepat made landfall on Saturday, cutting power supplies to more than 70,000 homes and forcing airlines to delay flights.

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A man holds on to railing on a suspension bridge in Pitan, Taiwan, on Saturday.

"In Taitung county, around 10,000 households were out of power, but repairs are already taking place," said an official from Taiwan's disaster center.

Taitung is in the southeast of the island, where preparations for the onslaught have been under way for days as the storm approached from the sea, swiping the Philippines on the way.

"We haven't seen reports about landslides. There aren't any casualties so far, except for two people who were injured driving in Taitung in the middle of the bad weather," the official said.

At 0030 GMT, the center of the typhoon was 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of the eastern coast of Hualien county, with sustained winds of 155 km (97 miles) per hour and gusts up to 191 km (120 miles) per hour.

Some flights from Taipei and Kaohsiung, the two biggest cities in Taiwan, were either postponed or cancelled. Flights affected were bound for Hong Kong and cities in southeast Asia.

Typhoon Sepat is due to head toward China, where authorities from the southern province of Guangdong have warned that it could have a "major effect" and have urged people to prepare, Chinese newspapers said.

In the Philippines, more than 380,000 people were affected by flooding, with more than 1,800 -- mainly in the northern province of Pampanga -- evacuated.

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In Cavite, a province south of Manila, 20 families were stranded in five feet (1.5 meters) of flood water as garbage clogged rivers and canals. There were four minor landslides in the northern city of Baguio, but no reports of casualties.

In the northern parts of Manila, flooding was waist-deep and evacuation centers were bracing for more arrivals. In Malabon, one of the most densely populated areas of the capital, local radio reported residents renting out boats to pedestrians. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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