Tropical Storm Kong-Rey batters Taiwan as heavy rains flood western cities

Tropical Storm Kong-Rey has battered Taiwan, dumping more than 500 millimeters (19 inches) of rain on the heavily populated west coast and causing widespread flooding.

Kong-Rey skirted the island's east coast Thursday before heading north toward Japan. It is expected to fizzle out over the western Pacific without causing additional damage.

Particularly hard hit in Taiwan were the large west coast cities of Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung, where flooding in some areas reached second-story levels. In Chiayi, officials evacuated 29 residents from a nursing home.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the storm.