Millennium Post

China: Typhoon Meranti death toll rises to 28, 15 missing

The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit China in nearly 70 years has reached 28, state news said Sunday, days after the storm crashed into the country’s coastline.

Heavy rains and winds up to 170 kilometres per hour (105 miles per hour) whipped eastern Fujian province late last week, flooding streets and knocking over trees, billboards and power lines.

The official Xinhua news agency described the storm as the world’s strongest typhoon this year and the worst to hit the region since records began in 1949.

Fifteen remain missing, Xinhua said, adding that Xiamen city’s transportation and power supply continued to be “spotty”.

More than 10,000 workers were clearing up debris from the storm which uprooted more than 3,000 trees and destroyed roads and walls, it said.

Flooding also destroyed an 871-year-old bridge that was protected heritage site in Yongchun county, Xinhua reported Friday.

The typhoon, which had earlier skirted the southern tip of Taiwan, made landfall in Xiamen early Thursday.

At one point more than 3.2 million homes had their electricity cut off and water supplies for many communities in Xiamen were disrupted, it added.

Typhoon Malakas, the second typhoon to hit China in the last four days, and the huge tides generated by it have pushed the water level of Huangpu River above the warning line prompting officials to resort to emergency measures.

Malakas, the 16th typhoon in 2016, entered the southern part of the East China Sea yesterday, China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre said.

According to statistics by Shanghai Flood Risk Information Centre, water levels at the sections of Wusongkou, Suzhouhe and Mishidu all exceeded the warning line today.

Rising water levels forced local authorities to launch emergency response measures and shut all tidal gates today.

The local flood control headquarters has urged all related departments to stay alert.

Typhoon Malakas comes on the heels of Typhoon Meranti, which has left at least 28 people dead and another 15 missing in eastern China since it made landfall in Fujian last week.

Xiamen city government today announced primary schools and kindergartens as well as private schools would be closed for two or three days, as power supply and the transportation network are both patchy.

It brought heavy rain and gales of up to 48 meters per second when it made landfall early Thursday, which was the first day of China’s three-day holiday marking the Mid-Autumn Festival.

China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned of waves as high as 40 feet off Taiwan’s east coast, and southern and central parts of the East China Sea, and 14-foot ones off the coastal regions of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces 

The city’s education authority said that the school closures would help lessen traffic pressure, while many soldiers, teachers and students’ parents are still taking part in relief efforts.

The city’s power grid said the typhoon disrupted power supply to 620,000 households. So far, 70 per cent of the grid is back to normal.

The news agency said Meranti paralyzed several cities in southern Fujian province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou More than 900 houses collapsed. The typhoon damaged more than 90 per cent of the city’s urban green areas.
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