By Caroline Gluck
BBC News, Taipei
At least 16 people have been injured in one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Taiwan in recent years.
Heavy winds and rains may continue overnight
Typhoon Haitang, with winds of up to 184 km/h (114 mph), has already dumped nearly a metre of rain in mountainous areas in the north-east of the island.
Typhoon Haitang is the first of many typhoons likely to hit Taiwan during the summer months.
Officials say it will move towards mainland China overnight, but winds and rains may continue until Tuesday.
The approach of Typhoon Haitang, packing strong winds and heavy rains, forced the closure of schools, government offices and financial markets.
Hundreds of domestic and international flights were suspended, as were rail services.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated from remote mountainous villages in northern Taiwan, as trees were uprooted by strong winds.
The authorities are warning people to be on alert for possible landslides and flash floods.
Local television showed pictures of flooded streets and wrecked shops, with their windows blown out, in the eastern coastal city of Hualien.
In the capital, Taipei, the streets were almost emptied of traffic as people stayed at home, many piling sandbags to prepare for the worst.
The torrential rain has brought down power lines in the north and east of the island leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity.
The ministry of defence has put military units on standby for post-typhoon rescue and relief efforts.