Hundreds evacuated as Typhoon Fitow brings rain to Taiwan

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) Over 200 residents from the northern county of Hsinchu were evacuated to safety as of Sunday afternoon, as Typhoon Fitow dumped heavy rain in mountainous areas. By 3 p.m. Sunday, 180 people from Jianshi Township and 44 from Wufeng Township had been relocated amid strong winds and heavy rain, the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau said. No casualties related to the typhoon have been reported, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center. Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan, who also serves as the center's commander, cautioned of mudslides in the Hsinchu townships, as well as in Taoyuan County's Fuxing Township. Hsinchu officials advised residents to avoid areas in the mountains or near rivers or oceans. Jianshi saw 505 millimeters of accumulated rainfall between late Friday and 3:10 p.m. Sunday, figures from the Central Weather Bureau showed. Areas with accumulated rainfall exceeding 300 mm included Wufeng in Hsinchu, Fuxing in Taoyuan, Taian in Miaoli, and Wulai District of New Taipei, according to the figures. The typhoon will be felt strongest through late Sunday, with heavy rainfall expected across northern Taiwan, the bureau said, adding that the land warning for Taiwan's main island could be lifted before 8 a.m. Monday. As of 4 p.m., 86 Sunday flights to and from Taoyuan International Airport were canceled or delayed. The Directorate General of Highways has closed parts of Provincial Highway No. 7, which winds through mountains between Taoyuan in the west and Yilan in the east, as a precautionary measure. (By Christie Chen, Wang Shu-fen and Liu Chien-pang)