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Typhoon Saola approaching Taiwan

Last updated 16:52 01/08/2012

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Taiwan issued torrential rain and strong wind warnings for most of the island on Wednesday (local time) as slow-moving Typhoon Saola approached, and put its military on standby as the risk of landslides and flooding grew.

The typhoon has winds of about 119 km per hour and could bring up to 1,000 mm of rain to parts of Taiwan over the rest of the week, the Central Weather Bureau said. The storm is likely to skirt the northern tip of the island on Thursday, though there was also a chance it could make landfall, it said.

One village in the island's mountainous and sparsely populated northeast has been evacuated as heavy rain raised a risk of landslides, and several roads in the area closed, the government said.

Heavy rain was falling in the capital Taipei on Wednesday morning, and city authorities will decide later in the day whether to order businesses and financial markets to close on Thursday.

Tracking site Tropical Storm Risk rated Saola category two, the second-lowest on its scale of five, but forecast it could strengthen to a category three in 36 hours, when it will cross into southeast China.

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- Reuters

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