Meranti, the strongest typhoon this year, made landfall in Xiamen at 3:05 a.m., with a maximum 15-grade wind force bringing extraordinary rainstorms. It has reportedly killed seven people in Fujian, six people in Zhejiang Province and one in Taiwan Province.
In Fujian, nine more people were missing. Some 331,000 people were forced to relocate and direct economic losses of 1.7 billion yuan (249 million U.S. dollars) were estimated in the province, according to the local government Friday.
Repair workers are busy restoring the power grid in Xiamen, as the typhoon cut off tap water supplies and caused a mass blackout in the city. The water supply in most areas had resumed by 8 p.m. Thursday.
As parts of the city’s railway facilities were damaged, nine passenger trains were canceled, and the routes of 61 trains will be changed between Sept. 16 and 25.
The provincial government has so far allocated 60 million yuan in disaster relief for affected people.
The typhoon weakened to a tropical depression around 5 p.m. Thursday and moved northwards, bringing downpours to the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Anhui and the city of Shanghai.
Zhejiang was particularly badly affected. As of 11 a.m. Friday, six people in the province were killed, with another five missing. More than 70,000 people were relocated, and 1.8 billion yuan in direct economic losses were caused, according to provincial authorities.
Over 600 rescuers are working in disaster-hit areas of Zhejiang.
Shanghai was also affected by Meranti and witnessed its heaviest downpour this year from Thursday night to Friday morning, with 400 millimeters of precipitation.
Coming hot on the heels of Meranti, Typhoon Malakas is likely to enter the East China Sea on Saturday.
Taiwan’s meteorological agency issued land and sea warnings for Typhoon Malakas on Friday, and said the typhoon was bringing winds of up to 180 km per hour as it moved toward the island.
The meteorological bureau of Fujian forecasted that offshore fisheries in the province would be affected from Sept. 17 to 19.
Shanghai flood control headquarters also called on related departments and organizations to prepare for the approaching typhoon. – Agencies
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