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Maintenance crews clear debris in Taipei Monday. Typhoon Jangmi lashed Taiwan with torrential rains and powerful winds, causing widespread flooding, shutting down offices and forcing the cancellation of international flights. ((Wally Santana/Associated Press))

Typhoon Jangmi was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday as it headed toward eastern China after lashing Taiwan with torrential rains and powerful winds that killed two people and injured more than 30.

It was the fourth and most powerful typhoon to hit Taiwan this year.

Offices and schools were shut down Monday because of the storm's impact, and the Taiwan stock market was closed.

At the capital city, Taipei, the international airport resumed operations Monday after being interrupted late Sunday. But it could take hours to clear up the backlog of delayed flights, airport authorities said.

Power was cut to 86,000 households as the area was hit by gusts of up to 225 km/h, the highest level the Central Weather Bureau's equipment can measure.

The strong winds overturned a bus on a highway near the northeastern city of Ilan, injuring 36 passengers, the Disaster Relief Centre said.

Outer bands of the storm continued to dump heavy rains in central and southern Taiwan Monday, with the scenic Alishan resort area recording nearly 81 centimetres of rain, the bureau said.

Officials said groups of Chinese tourists were turned away from Alishan, a favorite sightseeing spot for visitors from the Chinese mainland.

Television reports showed rampaging waters overflowing the banks of a main river in Nantou County in central Taiwan as villagers were rescued from their flooded houses.

An 82-year-old man was killed when he fell into a flooded rice paddy, and an 18-year-old girl was killed by a fallen electric wire in central Taiwan, the Disaster Relief Centre said.

Authorities evacuated more than 3,000 villagers from landslide-prone areas and closed 34 bridges on overflowing rivers, the center said.

Typhoons frequently hit Taiwan between July and October, causing flash floods and deadly landslides. Two weeks ago Typhoon Sinlaku killed 12 people and left 10 others missing and presumed dead.

With files from the Associated Press