Millions off work as Typhoon Koinu brushes past Taiwan with lashing rain

Typhoon Koinu began brushing past the rural far southern tip of Taiwan on Thursday, injuring 190 but causing no deaths, as lashing rains and strong winds canceled work and classes for millions in a swathe of cities across the island.

The heaviest rain is falling along the country’s east coast counties, including Taitung, where 62-year-old retired teacher Wu Yun-Hsian said he had made better preparations at his home ahead of Koinu’s arrival, compared to the previous major typhoon, Haikui, in late August.

Most cities and counties in Taiwan declared a day off work and school on Thursday, though the capital Taipei, home to the stock and financial markets, is not affected and operating as normal.

Koinu, which means ‘puppy’ in Japanese, made landfall on Taiwan’s Hengchun peninsula as a category four typhoon – indicating winds of up to 252kph – but is forecast to weaken as it crosses into the Taiwan Strait and heads toward the Chinese province of Guangdong, according to Tropical Storm Risk.