Powerful typhoon slams into Taiwan

A powerful typhoon slammed into Taiwan on Saturday, washing out roads, uprooting trees and killing at least one person. Authorities ordered the evacuation of thousands of people around the island as electricity supplies faltered and rains battered already saturated rivers valleys, mountainsides and urban landscapes. Typhoon Sepat - by far the most powerful storm to hit the island this year - made landfall at 5:40 am (2140 GMT Friday) near the eastern city of Hualien, packing sustained winds of 173 kph (109 mph). The storm - the third major tropical system to hit Taiwan in the past two weeks - cut an east-west swathe, leaving overturned cars, disrupted electricity grids and deserted streets in its wake.