Typhoon Jangmi lashed Taiwan with torrential rains and powerful winds Sunday, causing widespread flooding and forcing the cancellation of international flights.

Jangmi, the fourth and most powerful typhoon to hit the island this year, made landfall in Ilan county in northeastern Taiwan at mid-afternoon local time, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Power was cut to 86,000 households as the area was hit by gusts of up to 225 kilometres per hour, the highest level the bureau's equipment can measure.

The strong winds even overturned a bus on a highway in Ilan, injuring three passengers.

There were similar scenes in Taichung County.

A container truck was pushed onto its side while a collapsed power pole blocked traffic along a major street.

The usually bustling capital of Taipei was eerily quiet with only a few cars on streets while local television pictures showed pedestrians literally blown off their feet as they were buffeted by the stormy weather.

Trees were uprooted and building scaffolding blown away.

Elsewhere authorities said relief centres had been set up after villages had been evacuated in the Shingchu County, as mud slides cut off roads and threatened townships.

The Disaster Relief Centre said dozens of villagers were also evacuated from the scenic mountain resort of Lushan in central Taiwan, where all 20 hotels were ordered closed.

The area was badly damaged when Typhoon Sinlaku hit two weeks ago, with massive mudslides destroying at least three hotels.

Hundreds of fishing boats sheltered at ports, and domestic flights and rail services were cancelled, local media reported.

Taiwan's China Airlines and EVA Airways said several flights to Asia were cancelled or rescheduled for Monday.

China's Southern and Hainan Airlines cancelled their flights to the island from Beijing and Shanghai.

The Disaster Relief Centre said six bridges across the island were closed to traffic as water levels in rivers exceeded safety levels. Authorities were pumping flood waters from many low-lying areas, it said.

Jangmi was set to move northwest toward southern China early Monday but its outer bands would continue to dump heavy rains in Taiwan. Mountainous areas could record up to 1,000 millimetres of rain in the two-day period, the weather bureau said.

Typhoons frequently hit Taiwan between July and October, causing flash floods and deadly landslides. Most recently Typhoon Sinlaku killed 12 people and left 10 others missing.