Heavy rains wreak havoc in central Taiwan in wake of typhoon

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Intense rains in the wake of Typhoon Khanun lashed the mountainous parts of Taiwan on Saturday, unleashing flood and landslides that blocked roads and stranded hundreds of people as authorities rushed to resume transportation links.

Rains have pounded the central county of Nantou since Typhoon Khanun brushed past northern Taiwan on Thursday, with more than 1 m (3 feet) of precipitation soaking Renai Township since then, shattering roads and triggering landslides and mudslides.

Local news footage showed a petrol station in Renai buried by landslides, while a motorway nearby was flooded, cutting the key transportation link in the mountainous area.

Across Taiwan, two people were missing and more than 460 stranded, mostly in remote mountainous areas, the government said, adding no casualties had been reported.

Hsu Shu-Hua, the head of Nantou County, said some people were stranded on the mountains and urged the central government and armed forces to send in help as soon as possible, according the official Central News Agency.

Vice President William Lai vowed to provide “greatest resources” to help local authorities restore infrastructure and transportation.

“Although Typhoon Khanun is gradually moving away from us, people should still make related preparations and must pay attention to rains and winds, as well as your own safety,” he said in a post on Facebook.

Heavy rain was forecast to continue over the weekend, although at a reduced level as authorities continued to issue warnings of landslides for mountainous central and southern Taiwan.

(Reporting By Yimou Lee and Fabian Hamacher; Editing by William Mallard)

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