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Friday, October 16, 1998 Published at 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

Killer typhoon threatens Japan

In Tapei's suburbs dinghies were used to rescue people stranded in their homes

Typhoon Zeb is threatening southern Japan, after killing over 70 people in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Although the storm has now lost some of its force, it has sustained wind speeds of over 100km/h. Flights to southern parts of Japan have been cancelled.

At least 12 people were killed in Taiwan and the high winds caused severe disruption to sea, land and air traffic.

The torrential rain brought flooding to some low lying areas and schools, offices and businesses closed.

In the capital, Tapei, tall buildings were said to be swaying in the wind, and suburbs were flooded.

More than 60 people are reported to have lost their lives in the northern Philippines, where the storm destroyed homes, power lines and bridges on the island of Luzon with winds up to 300km/h.

Over 100,000 people are reported to have fled their homes to escape the damage as the storm passed over the island, with 10,000 people remaining in emergency shelters.

The impact of the storm on remote mountain regions has not yet been assessed.

The storm was reported to be the strongest storm to hit the Philippines since typhoon Angela in 1995, which killed 700 people.



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