Typhoon Koinu Makes Landfall in Taiwan With Record Wind Gust
Typhoon Koinu, a Category Four cyclone, has made landfall at the southern tip of Taiwan, with one of the strongest wind gusts ever recorded worldwide.
Clocking in at 95.2 metres per second (342.7 km/h or 212.9 mph), this wind gust surpassed all previous records in Taiwan since the establishment of the Central Weather Administration (CWA) in 1986. The gust obliterated the island’s anemometer, a device designed to measure wind speed.
Typhoon Koinu’s gust stands as the third-strongest ever recorded on the planet, following closely behind the 1996 gust of 408 km/h on Western Australia’s Barrow Island and the 1934 gust of 372 km/h on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, USA.
Typhoon Koinu is named after the Japanese word for puppy. The cyclone’s powerful winds and torrential rains left nearly 200 people injured, with the majority of injuries reported in west coast cities, including Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
Local fire services and emergency responders were working to provide aid and support to those affected.
Among the injured were individuals who were riding scooters when they were either blown over by the hurricane-force winds or struck by falling branches. Waves reaching heights of up to seven metres were reported.
Power outages affected more than 62,000 homes and businesses by midday on Thursday.
Schools and offices were closed in many parts of Taiwan. However, the capital city Taipei continued to operate normally.
Transportation was heavily impacted, with ferries and domestic flights suspended or cancelled due to the typhoon’s menacing presence. Travellers and commuters faced challenges as they adjusted to the disruptions brought about by Typhoon Koinu.
Typhoon Koinu is the second typhoon to make landfall in Taiwan this year, with Typhoon Haikui hitting the island in September. Haikui caused landslides, mass evacuations, and numerous injuries.
Notably, Taiwan had not experienced a direct hit from a typhoon for four years, despite its location in an active tropical storm zone.
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