TAIPEI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- High waves that measured about eight meters tall killed eight people and injured eight others in northeastern Taiwan on Saturday.
The victims were residents in the city of Xinbei attending a community college course in a scenic geopark near the island's northeastern coast, said rescuers on Sunday.
The group of 26 were hit by three large waves, with 16 of them swept out to sea. After hours of rescue attempts, eight were confirmed dead, said a source with the firefighting agency in Xinbei.
This is believed to be the most serious casualty caused by high waves in Taiwan in recent years.
The local meteorological authority in Taiwan said the waves were whipped up by Typhoon Haiyan. It also warned people and organizations in the island's eastern and southwestern coastal areas to remain alert on Sunday.
Local people called such ferocious phenomena "mad dog waves," as many seem harmless at sea but may suddenly turn into huge billows near the coast.
According to local media reports, authorities in Xinbei are discussing whether to close parts of the coastal walk in bad weather conditions.
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