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Typhoon Fanapi lashes Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Typhoon Fanapi punished Taiwan with 125 mph winds Sunday, downing trees and power lines, and killing at least three people and injuring dozens, officials said.

The storm cleared the island about 6 p.m. and was head toward mainland China.

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The China Meteorological Administration raised the storm alert to the second-highest level and warned coastal areas between Guangdong and Fujian provinces that Fanapi would make landfall Monday morning.

China's Xinhua news agency said shipping lanes between China and Taiwan were closed by the government.

Police said a woman was killed when she fell into a river while doing last-minute harvesting ahead of the storm. Two students drowned in a flooded canal when a girl slipped and fell and two friends jumped in after her, CNN said.

The Taipei Times reported Fanapi had crippled transportation nationwide and blew down power lines as it made landfall at 8:40 a.m. Sunday. Severe flooding was reported in southern Taiwan where several inches of rain had fallen, the newspaper said.

The Times said TV footage from Hualien showed lines of fallen trees, several houses with their roofs ripped off, an overturned truck and several parked cars crushed by fallen trees in Taipei City.

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The Central Emergency Operation Center had reported two people missing and 75 people slightly injured by the storm.

Electrical power was cut off to about 314,000 households nationwide. Power had been restored to 140,000 of those households by noon, and was expected to be restored to the rest by the end of the day, Taiwan Power Co. said.

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