02:45 - Source: CNN
Year's strongest typhoon at landfall pummels Taiwan

Story highlights

Two men died after being knocked down by strong winds, authorities say

Storm chaser describes a "very hazardous and, at times, a frightening experience"

Typhoon hit Taiwan late Monday and then made landfall in mainland China early Tuesday

(CNN) —  

Typhoon Dujuan walloped Taiwan with howling winds and sheets of rain, killing at least two people and injuring more than 300 before heading on to mainland China.

The powerful storm made landfall late Monday on Taiwan’s east coast, pummeling the town of Suao with gusts as strong as 246 kph (153 mph).

“The rain was swirling everywhere and in that rain and wind was lots and lots of flying debris, which made it very hazardous and, at times, a frightening experience,” storm chaser James Reynolds told CNN from Suao.

Reynolds reported seeing fallen trees and minor structural damage during the night but said the full extent of the damage would only become clear in the daylight.

Two men died after being knocked down by strong winds, Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center said Tuesday, and another 324 people were injured amid the storm, most of them by flying debris or car accidents.

Dujuan also dumped well over half a meter (20 inches) of rain on the mountains of northeastern Taiwan, raising concerns of flooding or landslides.

The military had evacuated roughly 5,000 people living in vulnerable mountainous areas ahead of the storm’s arrival, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

The storm also prompted the suspension of many public transportation services and cancellations or delays of dozens of flights, the agency reported.

The typhoon churned away from Taiwan early Tuesday and slammed into mainland China’s densely populated southeastern coast, where authorities had evacuated more than 260,000 people in anticipation of the storm’s impact, according to state media.

Dujuan had significantly weakened as it neared the coast of the Chinese province of Fujian, but it was still generating typhoon-force winds and rain heavy enough to cause flash floods.

Taiwan was thumped last month by Typhoon Soudelor, a fierce storm that moved on to wreak havoc on the Chinese mainland. Soudelor killed at least seven people in Taiwan and at least 26 in mainland China.

CNN’s Wayne Chang, Brandon Miller and Ward Taylor contributed to this report.