Photos: Typhoon Haikui leaves trail of destruction in Taiwan

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By Webdesk

Typhoon Haikui toppled hundreds of trees, damaged coastal roads and dumped torrential rains across Taiwan before it weakened into a severe storm and headed for southern China on Monday.

Haikui had initially appeared to depart the island but made a second landfall early on Monday in southwest Kaohsiung, before it was downgraded to a severe tropical storm as it moved out into the Taiwan Strait.

There were no reports of deaths, but destruction was seen in coastal Taitung, a mountainous county in lesser-populated eastern Taiwan where the storm directly hit the day before.

“I’ve lived here for so long and I have never seen such wind gusts,” said Chen Hai-feng, 55, a village chief in Taitung’s Donghe township, where he was with an early-morning crew removing trees from a road.

Workers carefully manoeuvred diggers to move downed tree branches and electrical wiring that had snapped and splayed across the rain-drenched road.

Further north, in coastal Changbin township, workers ferried massive concrete blocks to a coastal highway that had partially collapsed from the force of waves slamming into it, hoping they would absorb the effect.

Heavy orange-coloured barriers were placed near the edge to prevent cars from skidding over on the slippery roads.

Haikui – the first typhoon landfall in Taiwan in four years – forced the evacuation of more than 7,000 people across the island, particularly from landslide-prone mountainous regions. Hundreds of flights were cancelled and businesses were closed.

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