Thousands evacuated as super typhoon hits Taiwan

This handout photo taken by the Taiwan Military shows military units in the eastern county of Hualien preparing sandbags on a beach as weather forecasters warn of torrential rains and fierce winds from approaching Super Typhoon NepartakSuper Typhoon Nepartak lashed Taiwan with powerful winds and torrential rain as it made landfall early Friday, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes as the island cancelled hundreds of flights and shut offices and schools for the day. Packing gusts of up to 234 kilometres per hour (145 miles per hour), it landed at Taimali township in eastern Taitung county shortly before 6:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday). Most scheduled domestic flights were cancelled while 365 international flights were affected, Taipei's two main airports said.

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