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Typhoon Sepat Brings Wind, Rain to Taiwan, Heads Toward China

A powerful typhoon brought wind and rain to Taiwan Saturday, cutting electricity, disrupting air traffic and forcing many buildings to close before moving on to China's southeastern coast.

Forecasters say that by Saturday evening local time (1200 UTC), Typhoon Sepat was located 80 kilometers off the western coast of the island in the Taiwan Strait.

The storm was moving northwest at 13 kph with sustained winds of 126 kph and gusts up to 162 kph.

Officials say Sepat cut power to more than 70,000 homes in Taiwan and forced some domestic and international airline flights to be postponed as it moved toward China.

Authorities in China have already evacuated hundreds of thousands of people and canceled flights as they braced for the storm. Forecasters in China expect Sepat to make landfall Saturday evening local time.

Earlier this week, Typhoon Sepat, bolstered by monsoon rains, flooded parts of the Philippine capital, Manila. No deaths were reported.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.