Koinu makes landfall as Cat 4 Typhoon

Typhoon Koinu made landfall on Taiwan’s Hengchun peninsula as a category four typhoon – with winds of up to 252 kph (156 mph).

The storm passed southern Taiwan on 5 October, killing one person, injuring 304 and causing localised damage, with heavy rains and strong winds causing widespread disruption.

Insured losses are likely to be contained, however, as the heaviest rain fell in mountainous and sparsely populated parts of Pingtung county in the south, and the east coast counties of Taitung and Hualien. 

However, the typhoon also affected the major southern port city of Kaohsiung.

The typhoon entered the Taiwan Strait late on Thursday morning and heavy rain was forecast to last into Friday, mostly in the island’s south and east.

Taiwan’s fire department reported one death from a person hit by flying glass in the central city of Taichung, and 304 injuries across the island, as well as some damage to buildings and downed trees.

More damage was reported on Orchid Island off Taitung’s coast in the Pacific Ocean, home to about 5,000 people.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said a weather tracking station on Orchid Island recorded Taiwan’s strongest wind in 126 years as the typhoon hit late Wednesday.

Taiwan’s two main domestic airlines, UNI Air and Mandarin Airlines, cancelled most their flights for Thursday, while ferries to outlying islands were also stopped.

A total of 46 international flights were cancelled, the transport ministry said, but the high speed rail connecting northern and southern Taiwan was not affected.