Typhoon Meranti hits China after battering Taiwan

Meranti, the third most violent typhoon on record, brings strong winds and rain to coastal cities as Taiwan cleans up.

    Super Typhoon Meranti has made landfall in southeastern China, bringing strong winds and rain in what state media has called the strongest storm of the year globally.

    The typhoon arrived in the early hours of Thursday near the major city of Xiamen after sweeping through southern Taiwan on Wednesday and killing one person.

    Pictures on state media showed flooded streets in some parts of the province of Fujian, where Xiamen is located, fallen trees and crushed cars.

    Xinhua news agency said it was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the country since the founding of Communist China in 1949 and the strongest so far this year any where in the world.

    As it passed Taiwan, Meranti had sustained winds of 290km an hour (kph) and gusts of 350kph [AFP]

    In some parts of Xiamen, including both urban and rural areas, power supplies had been cut off, it said.

    Meranti was a Category 5 typhoon, the strongest classification awarded by Tropical Storm Risk storm tracker, before it made landfall on the mainland and has since been downgraded to Category 2.

    Dozens of flights and train services have been cancelled, state television said, inconveniencing people at the start of the three-day mid-autumn festival holiday.

    READ MORE: Super Typhoons - Beware the surge

    Tens of thousands of people had already been evacuated as the storm approached and fishing boats called back to port.

    One person died and 38 were injured in Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Centre said, as the typhoon hit the southern part of the island, including the port city of Kaohsiung, on Wednesday.

    Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and bringing fierce winds and rain when they hit land.

    Meranti will continue to lose strength as it pushes inland and up towards China's commercial capital of Shanghai, but will bring heavy rain.

    Xiamen, in Fujian province, finds itself in the direct path of Meranti [Reuters]

    SOURCE: Agencies


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