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Torrential rains batter Taiwan ahead of typhoon

11:30 PM, Jul 31, 2012   |    comments
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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Torrential rains spawned by Typhoon Saola are battering eastern Taiwan as the storm approaches. The slow-moving typhoon killed at least 12 people and displaced 154,000 in the Philippines.

Saola was about 240 kilometers (150 miles) east of the coastal city of Hualien by late morning Wednesday.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau predicts it will skirt the island's northeast tip around daybreak Thursday.

The storm had sustained winds of 126 kph (78 mph) and gusts of 155 kph (96 mph).

Ahead of Saola's arrival, some areas in Taiwan's northeastern county of Ilan reported rainfall of close to 900mm (30 inches), while the CWB said about one-third of that amount had fallen in suburban Taipei.

Authorities have closed a major eastern highway north of Hualien and evacuated several hundred people from low-lying areas.

The Associated Press

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