Taiwan shuts schools as island braces for typhoon

September 13, 2008 07:34

Authorities shuttered businesses and schools and urged people to stock up on food supplies Saturday as a powerful typhoon churned toward northern Taiwan and its heavily populated capital. Typhoon Sinlaku pummeled Taipei with heavy rain and strong winds Saturday morning. Local TV stations showed fishing boats frantically heading for the port city of Yilan, 70 kilometers northeast of the capital as giant waves crashed into the coast. As of 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Typhoon Sinlaku was centered at sea about 120 kilometers northeast of Hualien in eastern Taiwan, packing sustained winds of 173 kilometers per hour, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said. President Ma Ying-jeou visited the government's disaster management center Friday evening where he met with officials preparing for the storm and was briefed on their plans.

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