China has braced for the imminent landfall of Typhoon Doksuri, as its national observatory renewed its most severe weather alert after overnight heavy rainfall in the country’s southwest.
According to a state media report, three coastal cities in Fujian province shut schools, businesses and factories on Thursday, while flood control authorities in one of them, Xiamen, warned of a “serious impact”.
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In the Philippines, at least eight people died as the typhoon savaged the region with strong winds and heavy rains.
On Thursday, more than 20 people were confirmed dead in the country after a passenger boat capsized.
The MBCA Princess Aya was just 45 metres from the shore of Binangonan town in Rizal province, east of Manila, when it was pummelled on its way to Talim Island by a gust of wind, causing the passengers to panic.
“They went to the port side of the motor banca, causing the boat to tilt and capsize,” coastguard spokesman Rear Admiral Armand Balilo told a Manila radio station.
Typhoon Doksuri battered the main island of Luzon on Wednesday, toppling trees, knocking out power and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from coastal communities.
Strong winds and heavy rain pummelled the lightly populated Babuyan islands and northern provinces, triggering flooding and landslides.
Typhoon threatens China
The approaching typhoon is expected to make landfall on China’s southeast coast in the early hours of Friday.
Fifteen provinces and city-level administrative units across China have been affected by “severe” weather, including thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, gales and hail ahead of Doksuri’s landfall, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Beijing launched emergency flood control operations in the country’s southwest on Wednesday night after torrential rains in the Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces as well as the nearby metropolis of Chongqing.
Heavy flooding in the city of Luzhou, Sichuan province, swept cars onto tree trunks, according to videos circulating on Chinese social media.
Passenger ships and fishing boats have also been grounded in parts of coastal Zhejiang province north of Fujian.
China’s national observatory has classified Doksuri as a “strong” typhoon, with maximum winds of 180km/h (112mph), as it hurtled northwest through the Taiwan Strait towards Fujian province as of 12pm (04:00 GMT) on Thursday.
At one point Doksuri was a super typhoon, but lost some of its strength after it lashed the coastline of the northern Philippines on Wednesday.
Taiwan warns of landslides
Southern Taiwan shut businesses and schools, and hundreds of flights were cancelled amid warnings of landslides and floods on Thursday.
Taiwan’s weather bureau issued wind and rain warnings for the southern and eastern parts of the island, including the major port city of Kaohsiung where landslide warnings were issued.
Railway services between southern and eastern Taiwan were shut.
More than 5,700 people were evacuated as a precaution, mostly in mountainous southern and eastern Taiwan, where more than 700mm of rainfall was recorded in some areas and up to 1,000mm of rain was forecast.
The storm had cut power from more than 49,000 households across Taiwan but the majority of them had since been restored.