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Typhoon leaves two dead,closes markets in Taiwan


 Typhoon Jangmi lashed Taiwan with heavy rain and strong winds yesterday as it moved offshore, leaving two dead and forcing the closure of schools, offices and financial markets, officials said.

A further 58 people were reported to have been injured by Jangmi, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, as it was forecast to churn towards Japan. Authorities in China ordered hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate from the country’s southeast coast, despite the storm losing momentum as it approached the area. In central Taiwan, a woman on a motorbike was killed when she was hit by a broken cable, while an elderly man was blown over by fierce winds and drowned in a rice paddy. A tourist bus flipped over in strong winds in northeastern Ilan county late Sunday, injuring 35 people, the National Fire Agency said. Residents were told to take precautions from continued downpours and possible flooding, while more than 3,000 residents were evacuated from remote villages, and fishing boats sought shelter at ports, it added. Jangmi, meaning “rose” in Korean, made landfall Sunday packing gusts of up to 191 kilometres per hour, the Central Weather Bureau said. The Civil Aeronautics Administration said 116 domestic and 35 international flights had been cancelled as of 5:00am yesterday but that most schedules would return to normal during the day. Railway services were also suspended Sunday. Separately, a yacht with four US citizens on board was reported missing in waters south of the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said. In China, the authorities evacuated more than 460,000 people from the eastern coast, and tens of thousands of fishing boats were ordered back to shore as the storm approached yesterday, state media reported. China’s National Meteorological Observatory however said Fujian and Zhejiang provinces might be spared as Jangmi weakened and moved northward, Xinhua news agency reported. But the observatory said there was still a chance the storm could change course and make landfall on the mainland, the report said. Rescue teams based in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen on Sunday helped bring 27 Taiwanese sailors and 10 others from various countries, mostly Indonesians,to safety, after their vessels struggled in the Taiwan Strait.