Typhoon Koinu makes landfall in southern Taiwan, 190 injured

People walk in the rain as Typhoon Koinu approaches to Taiwan in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.UNB/AP

Typhoon Koinu swept southern Taiwan on Thursday, injuring 190 people but causing no deaths as it brought intense winds and rainstorms to the island, leading to school and office closures. 

Koinu, which means “puppy” in Japanese, made landfall in Cape Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of Taiwan, early Thursday and is expected to weaken as it continues to move west toward Guangdong and Fujian provinces in southern China. 

The typhoon brought unexpectedly strong winds as it approached Taiwan, with a gust of 343 kph (213 mph) recorded Wednesday night on the outlying Orchid Island. On Thursday morning, Koinu packed maximum sustained winds of 162 kph (101 mph) with gusts of 198 kph (123 mph), according to the weather bureau. 

Cities across the island canceled work and classes, including the major southern port city of Kaohsiung. The capital, Taipei, was operating as normal and the rain had stopped as of Thursday morning. 

Taiwan’s fire department reported 190 injuries, most of them in cities along the west coast, including Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. 

Most domestic flights and 42 international flights were canceled Thursday, according to the transportation ministry, while ferries to outlying islands were also suspended. 

Taiwan sits in an active region for tropical cyclones, but Koinu is only the second typhoon to make landfall in four years. Typhoon Haikui hit the island in early September, injuring dozens.