Typhoon Meranti slammed into southeastern China on Thursday with strong winds and lashing rain that cut power to 1.65 million homes, but there were no reports of more casualties in what has been described as the strongest storm of the year globally.
Typhoon Meranti is stated to be the world’s strongest typhoon so far this year. It made landfall in east China’s Fujian Province early today, causing widespread destruction. The typhoon that hit Xiang’an district of Xiamen city, has also been monitored as the strongest one hitting southern Fujian Province since 1949. Strong winds shattered windows on the highrises even as tap water supply was disrupted following the typhoon in many communities in Xiamen.
“The winds and rain got extremely loud after 3 AM. The cracking sound of windows and tree branches were also scary. The power went out in the shop several times,” Su Binglin, a night-shift shop assistant at a 24-hour convenient store told state-run Xinhua news agency. He said he had to use a metal plate to strengthen the shop door to prevent it from shattering. He also used boxes filled with mineral water to consolidate the plate.
At around 6 AM, the winds abated. Streets in Xiamen are scattered with glass shards, broken tree branches and blown down billboards. The Xiamen Power Supply company said the typhoon has caused severe damages to the power grid in Xiamen, leading to mass blackout. The electricity supply was also disrupted in Xiamen’s outlying islands and with the typhoon further moving inland, more power outages are likely.
The typhoon hit during a three-day public holiday for Mid-Autumn Festival. Schools and kindergartens in coastal cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Putian in Fujian were closed yesterday as a precaution.
The railway authorities in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province, had yesterday announced cancellation of 144 trains till Saturday to southern and eastern cities in an emergent response to the typhoon.
(With inputs from Agencies)