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Typhoon Morakot over Taiwan, 2009

Deadly Typhoon Soudelor hits Taiwan

At least six people have died as the typhoon slammed into Taiwan on Saturday morning, before continuing its course towards mainland China.

The fierce winds hit the island with up to 210 km/h, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau, devastating buildings, infrastructure and environment.

It also left more than two million households without electricity.

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Among the victims are an eight-year-old girl and her mother, as well as a firefighter, local media reported.

China has begun to evacuate a large number of residents on its eastern Fujian province.

Soudelor is the strongest typhoon Taiwan has experienced this season. In 2009, Typhoon Morakot swept the island, leaving at least 461 people dead and many more missing.

A large number of strong typhoons, or super typhoons, commonly occur in the Pacific and South China Sea during El Nino years.

The El Nino phenomenon is a warming of the eastern and central Pacific, responsible for a variety of weather anomalies. It occurs every 2-7 years and lasts at least 6 months.

 

Elisabeth Brahier

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