BEIJING (REUTERS) – Typhoon Meranti slammed into southeastern China on Thursday (Sept 15), bringing strong winds and lashing rain and cutting power in what state media said was the strongest storm of the year globally, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
The storm, registered as a super typhoon before losing strength after sweeping southern Taiwan, made landfall in the early hours near the major city of Xiamen.
Pictures on state media showed flooded streets in Xiamen, fallen trees and crushed cars, as rescuers evacuated people using boats.
Large sections of Xiamen had power supplies cut off, while parts of the city suffered water supply disruptions and some windows on tall buildings shattered, state news agency Xinhua said.
The report said it was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the country since the founding of Communist China in 1949 and the strongest so far this year anywhere in the world.
Dozens of flights and train services have been cancelled, state television added, disrupting travel at the start of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
Tens of thousands of people had already been evacuated as the storm approached and fishing boats called back to port.
One person died and 38 were injured in Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Centre said, as the typhoon hit the southern part of the island on Wednesday.
Meranti was a Category 5 typhoon, the strongest classification awarded by Tropical Storm Risk storm tracker, before it made landfall on the mainland and 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 towards China’s commercial capital of Shanghai, but will bring heavy rain.