TAIPEI, Taiwan — A powerful typhoon slammed into Taiwan's eastern coast Friday, bringing ferocious winds and torrential rains to the area, killing one person and injuring 66 others. Planes and fishing boats were grounded, while more than 15,000 people were evacuated.
Typhoon Nepartak made landfall Friday morning in Taitung county before weakening to a medium-strength typhoon, the island's Central Weather Bureau reported.
The typhoon's center was located 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) east of the city of Kaohsiung early Friday and was moving northwestward at a speed of 13 km (8 miles) per hour, the bureau said. The typhoon was likely to continue to slow, but disaster response officials said they remained concerned that the heavy rains would trigger floods and landslides in the rugged terrain.
Li Wei-sen, Taiwan's Central Emergency Operations Center spokesman, said by phone that the typhoon was packing winds of up to 163 kmh (about 100 miles an hour). Li said that by early Friday, the typhoon had killed one person and injured 66 others.
About 270,000 households had been affected by power cuts, most of them in Hualien and Taitung counties, Li said. He added that the island's railway services have been suspended, while more than 500 domestic and international flights were canceled and others were delayed.
Li said the typhoon was estimated to reach mainland China's Fujian province later Friday. China's meteorological administration has said the typhoon was likely to make landfall in eastern China on Saturday morning.
Taiwanese authorities reported that more than 15,400 people have been evacuated from 14 counties and cities.
Taiwanese residents had been bracing for the impact of the storm. Restaurant owner Chen Mang-ning said Thursday he had to put a lock on the rolling door of his establishment to protect the windows from strong wind.
"Yes, I am worried about it, same as everyone here," said fisherman Chen Chun-po.
Hong Kong's two biggest airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair, said they were canceling flights to and from Taiwan until Friday afternoon.
Nepartak is a Micronesian word for a local warrior.
Associated Press writers Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, and Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this report.