Taipei: Taiwanese authorities today started clearing the damage from tropical storm Fung-Wong that pounded the island with torrential downpours and powerful winds over the weekend leaving one dead and four injured.Fung-Wong scraped the north and south of Taiwan but did not make landfall as had previously been forecast, sparing the island from the full force of the storm.
The torrential rains that left residents knee deep in water yesterday had mostly subsided by today, leaving only limited damage in their wake.
The power supply to more than 70,000 homes was cut off and 90 mobile signal stations were damaged by fierce winds that lashed parts of the island.
The authorities said they expected to restore electricity and the telecommunication network in most areas by the end of today.
The change of the storm's forecast route was a relief to the anxious residents in the main southern city of Kaohsiung, which is still repairing its drainage system that was partially destroyed by a huge gas explosion that killed 30 people in July.
"We had stopped our rehabilitation work for two days to beef up the preparations against the storm, thank God, now it has gone without bringing too much rain," an official at the city government told AFP.
The authorities had evacuated more than 4,000 residents from mountainous areas prone to landslides and ordered 48,000 soldiers to be on stand-by.
Fung-Wong is the second storm to hit the island this year, following Typhoon Matmo in July.
A TransAsia Airways domestic flight crashed after an aborted landing during Matmo, killing 48 people on board while 10 passengers survived.
In the Philippines, Fung-Wong claimed 10 lives, with roof-high floods forcing 83,000 people from their homes, after heavy rains paralysed the capital Manila and nearby regions.