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Taiwan braces for strongest typhoon in years

TAIWAN -- Winds were picking up on Friday as the outer bands of Typhoon Soudelor hit Taiwan's capital city of Taipei, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.

Windows were taped up as Taiwan braced for the typhoon, and the government was evacuating residents, Doane reports. Fisherman had brought their boats to port, and the coast guard was patrolling the shore, offering training sessions on saving lives.

Tens of thousands of soldiers were on standby for disaster relief, because typhoons are known to trigger flash floods and landslides on the mountainous island. The typhoon, which was expected to make landfall in Taiwan on Saturday, left a trail of destruction on several Pacific islands.

President Barack Obama declared the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, including the island of Saipan, a disaster area on Thursday and ordered federal aid to help the U.S. territory in the aftermath of the typhoon.

Typhoon Soudelor struck the island of Saipan over the weekend, with wind speeds between 100 mph and 120 mph. The commonwealth remained without electricity and water on Friday, and residents were rationing fuel. The Red Cross said more than 500 people on Saipan were in shelters.

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