Typhoon lashes China before weakening
Typhoon Meranti slammed into southeastern China on Thursday with strong winds and lashing rain that cut power to 1.65 million homes.
Media reported one death and one person missing in Fujian province in what has been described as the strongest storm of the year globally.
One person died and 51 were injured in Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Center there said, as the typhoon hit the southern part of the island on Wednesday.
The storm, registered as a super typhoon before losing strength after sweeping across southern Taiwan, made landfall in the early hours near Xia-men, capital of Fujian.
Dozens of flights and train services were canceled, State television said, which disrupted travel at the start of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
Pictures on State media showed flooded streets, fallen trees and crushed cars in Xiamen as rescuers in boats evacuated people.
About 320,000 homes were without power in Xiamen. Across the whole of Fujian, 1.65 million homes had no electricity, according to media reports.
Large sections of Xiamen also suffered water-supply disruptions and some windows in tall buildings shattered, showering glass onto the ground below, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xinhua said it was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the country since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and the strongest so far this year anywhere in the world.
Tens of thousands of people had already been evacuated as the storm approached, and fishing boats were called back to port.
Meranti was a Category 5 typhoon, the strongest classification awarded by Tropical Storm Risk storm tracker, before it made landfall on the mainland. It has since been downgraded to Category 2.
Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross the warm waters of the Pacific and bringing fierce winds and rain when they hit land.
Meranti will continue to lose strength as it pushes inland and up toward China’s commercial capital of Shanghai, but will bring heavy rain.