Typhoon Mer­anti lashes China

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BEI­JING: Typhoon Mer­anti bat­tered south­east­ern China with heavy winds and tor­ren­tial rain yes­ter­day, cut­ting power, rip­ping up trees and smash­ing win­dows, a day af­ter lash­ing Tai­wan.

The su­per typhoon, pack­ing winds of 170kph, made land­fall around 3am near the city of Xi­a­men be­fore head­ing in­land, state me­dia said.

Im­ages from Xi­a­men showed flooded streets, up­rooted trees, and traf­fic signs torn from their posts by the vi­o­lent winds. There were no re­ports of any ca­su­al­ties. The Xin­hua news agency de­scribed the storm as the most pow­er­ful to hit Fu­jian prov­ince in at least 67 years, with me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal records only go­ing back to the found­ing of mod­ern China in 1949.

Lo­cal me­dia de­scribed win­dows bro­ken by fly­ing roof tiles with frag­ments lit­ter­ing pave­ments and wa­ter sup­plies cut.

Schools and many busi­nesses were al­ready shut for the Mid-Au­tumn Festival when peo­ple tra­di­tion­ally meet up with fam­ily for cel­e­bra­tory meals.

Xi­a­men’s util­ity providers said there had been power out­ages in most of the city, which is home to some 3.5 mil­lion.

Train ser­vices were dis­rupted through­out Fu­jian as well as in neigh­bour­ing Jiangxi prov­ince.

Of­fi­cials had ear­lier urged peo­ple to stay at home and or­dered ships to re­turn to port as Mer­anti bore down on the main­land, hav­ing lashed Tai­wan on Wed­nes­day.

The storm left one per­son dead and 38 in­jured af­ter skirt­ing past the is­land’s south­ern tip with the strong­est winds recorded there in 21 years.

A 58-year-old fish­er­man died when he fell into the wa­ter af­ter a ves­sel broke from its an­chor. Most of the other in­juries were caused by fall­ing ob­jects.

Thou­sands of oth­ers were forced to flee their homes and around 350,000 house­holds were still with­out power as of yes­ter­day morn­ing.

At the peak of the storm, more than one mil­lion house­holds lost power.

The is­land was also brac­ing for the pos­si­ble im­pact of an­other trop­i­cal storm, Typhoon Malakas, which was fore­cast to sweep past the east coast of the is­land on Satur­day. – AFP

A par­tially cap­sized ship is seen in Kaoh­si­ung, Tai­wan yes­ter­day af­ter Mer­anti made land­fall on Wed­nes­day.

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