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Thousands of tourists evacuated as tropical storm hits Taiwan

Tropical storm Fung-Wong, which left 10 dead in the Philippines, on Sunday pounded Taiwan with torrential downpours and strong winds, forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights and ferry services - reorted the China morning Post. The defence ministry has ordered 48,000 soldiers to be on stand-by while fishing boats were advised to seek shelter at ports. Fung-Wong scraped the southern tip of the island around 10am after it veered east away from its forecast route, the Central Weather Bureau said. The storm brought torrential rains and strong winds which whipped high waves off the south coast, forcing thousands of tourists and surfers to leave the popular Kenting area. Packing winds of 90 kilometres per hour, Fung-Wong had dumped up to 60 centimetres of rain as it tracked north-northeast, the bureau said A total of 57 domestic and seven international flights were cancelled and ferry services to the offshore islands and mainland China were also suspended, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center. Kaohsiung was on alert as authorities deployed water pumps to the main southern city, which is still recovering from a huge blast which killed 30 people and damaged a good part of its drainage system in July. The storm was expected to churn northwards along the east coast, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Sept. 21, 2014, 12:08 p.m. PHOTO
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Thousands of tourists evacuated as tropical storm hits Taiwan