Year's fourth typhoon lashes Taiwan

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Typhoon Jangmi lashed Taiwan with torrential rains and powerful winds Sunday, causing widespread flooding, shutting down offices and forcing the cancellation of international flights.

Jangmi -- the fourth and most powerful typhoon to hit the island this year -- made landfall in Ilan county in northeastern Taiwan at mid afternoon Sunday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Power was cut to 86,000 households as the area was hit by gusts of up to 140 miles per hour, the highest level the bureau's equipment can measure, it said.

ETTV Cable News reported the strong winds overturned a bus on a highway in Ilan, injuring three passengers.

The usually bustling capital of Taipei was eerily quiet with only a few cars on streets buffeted by the stormy weather. Trees were uprooted and building scaffolding blown off.

The Disaster Relief Center said dozens of villagers were evacuated from the scenic mountain resort of Lushan in central Taiwan, where all 20 hotels were ordered closed. The area was badly damaged when Typhoon Sinlaku hit two weeks ago, with massive mudslides destroying at least three hotels.

Hundreds of fishing boats sheltered at ports, and domestic flights and rail services were canceled, television stations reported.

Taiwan's China Airlines and EVA Airways said several flights to Asia were canceled or rescheduled for Monday. China's Southern and Hainan Airlines canceled their flights to the island from Beijing and Shanghai.

The Disaster Relief Center said authorities were pumping flood waters from many low-lying areas and were closely monitoring water levels in rivers, particularly at 19 major bridges that would be closed if necessary.

The Central Weather Bureau said Jangmi would move northwest toward southern China early Monday but its outer bands would continue to dump heavy rains in Taiwan. Mountainous areas could record up to 40 inches of rain in the two-day period, the bureau said.

Typhoons frequently hit Taiwan between July and October, causing flash floods and deadly landslides. Typhoon Sinlaku killed 12 people and left 10 others missing.