Tropical storm Fung-Wong lashes Taiwan, killing one

A man walks in rain brought by Typhoon Matmo in Xindien district in New Taipei City on July 23, 2014 (AFP Photo/Sam Yeh)

Taipei (AFP) - Tropical storm Fung-Wong on Sunday pounded Taiwan with torrential downpours and powerful winds, killing one person and forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights and ferry services.

A 50-year-old drowned near his home in Peinan, a township in southeastern Taitung county, the Central Emergency Operation Center said, while another man in the county was injured by falling rocks.

The defence ministry has ordered 48,000 soldiers to be on stand-by while fishing boats were advised to seek shelter at ports.

Fung-Wong scraped the southern tip of the island around 10:00 am (0200 GMT) after it veered east away from its forecast route, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The storm brought torrential rains and strong winds which whipped high waves off the south coast, forcing thousands of tourists and surfers to leave the popular Kenting area.

Packing winds of 90 kilometres (56 miles) per hour, Fung-Wong had dumped up to 60 centimetres (24 inches) of rain as it tracked north-northeast, the bureau said.

"As heavy rains could trigger landslides, people should stay away from the mountainous areas," a weather forecaster from the bureau said as the authorities evacuated more than 1,200 residents from areas prone to mudslides.

A total of 57 domestic and seven international flights were cancelled and ferry services to the offshore islands and mainland China were also suspended, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.

Kaohsiung was on alert as authorities deployed water pumps to the main southern city, which is still recovering from a huge blast which killed 30 people and damaged a large part of its drainage system in July.

As of 5:30 pm (0930 GMT), the storm was 60 kilometres south of eastern Hualien city and moving north at an hourly speed of 22 kilometres, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The storm was expected to churn further northwards along the east coast before making landfall in the north, it said.

It was 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.