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Typhoon Koinu makes landfall in Taiwan

Koinu, meaning puppy, is a name contributed to the Typhoon Committee by Japan.
Last Updated : 05 October 2023, 08:03 IST
Last Updated : 05 October 2023, 08:03 IST

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Typhoon Koinu briefly made landfall in southern Taiwan on Thursday morning as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, meteorologists said. Tens of thousands of homes lost power, and nearly 200 people were injured, but there were no immediate reports of significant damage.

The storm’s eye was over Eluanbi, the southern tip of Taiwan, for about five minutes before crossing into the island’s western waters, said Wu Wan-hua, a meteorologist for Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration. When it made landfall at about 8:20 am, Koinu was moving west at around 6 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 135 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Minor damage, like fallen trees and billboards, was reported across Taiwan. Businesses and schools in dozens of cities and counties had been closed since Tuesday as the storm approached. By noon Thursday, more than 200 flights had been canceled, and more than 170,000 homes had experienced power outages; 190 injuries were reported.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Koinu became a Category 3 storm soon after leaving Taiwan and was likely to weaken further as it moved west, eventually becoming a tropical storm. It is expected to graze China’s southeastern coast and come close to Hong Kong.

The storm’s effects were also being felt in the northern Philippines. Officials there said Thursday that the far northern province of Batanes could receive heavy rain and strong winds, warning that landslides were possible in mountainous areas.

Koinu follows Typhoon Saola, which disrupted travel and forced schools to close in Taiwan last month, after prompting evacuations in the Philippines. In July, Typhoon Doksuri caused dozens of deaths in the Philippines from flooding and landslides before grazing Taiwan and eventually making landfall in mainland China.

Koinu, meaning puppy, is a name contributed to the Typhoon Committee by Japan. In the Philippines, where the government has used a parallel naming system for decades, Koinu is known as Jenny.

Typhoons and hurricanes are tropical cyclones with sustained winds of at least 74 mph. The term “hurricane” refers to tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin; “typhoon” refers to those that form in the northwestern Pacific and affect Asia.

There is a consensus among scientists that climate change is causing tropical cyclones to become more powerful and increasing the likelihood of major storms. Scientists also agree that climate change is affecting the amount of precipitation that storms produce.

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Published 05 October 2023, 08:03 IST

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