Super Typhoon Meranti claims two in Taiwan, China
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Super Typhoon Meranti claims two in Taiwan, China

TWO people have reportedly died and dozens of others left injured from the Category 5 Super Typhoon Meranti that slammed into southeastern China today after battering Taiwan earlier.

Chinese state media reported one death and one person missing from Meranti, which shattered windows on tall buildings and disrupted water supplies.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency said one person was killed and 44 were injured on the island by the storm. It said Meranti knocked out power in almost 1 million homes and water in more than 700,000.

According to Reuters, the typhoon, described as the most powerful this year, hit China with strong winds and lashing rain, cutting power to 1.65 million homes.

The storm made landfall in the early hours of Thursday near the city of Xiamen.

In anticipation of the landfall, dozens of flights and train services were cancelled. This disrupted travel for the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

The report said in Xiamen alone, some 320,000 homes were without power. Across the Fujian province where Xiamen is located, over 1.65 million homes had no electricity.

Chinese meteorologists downgraded Meranti from a super typhoon to a tropical storm Thursday afternoon and said they expect it to fade further as it moves north.

The storm barreled past Taiwan’s southern tip on Wednesday, bringing with it record strong winds and heavy rains that knocked power out for over 700,000 homes.

Videos of the storm posted on social media sites yesterday showed winds ripping through Taiwan’s southern and eastern cities, leaving in its wake torn down buntings and hoardings along the streets, along with power cables and trees.

A motorcyclist is bowled over as strong winds from Super Typhoon Meranti hits Taiwan. Pic via Twitter.

A motorcyclist is bowled over as strong winds from Super Typhoon Meranti hit Taiwan. Pic via Twitter.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau had earlier sounded a warning on the typhoon, saying the Category 5 storm was estimated to hit certain cities, including Kaohsiung and Hualien, causing some damage.

According to AccuWeather, Meranti is the strongest typhoon in the Western Pacific since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which was categorized as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the world. During Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines, more than 6,000 people were recorded dead.

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Meranti reached “super typhoon” status on Monday, having sustained wind speeds of up to 305 kilometers per hour. A super typhoon is classified when winds hit at least 240 kilometers per hour.

In China, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a typhoon standby signal No. 1 at 10.10am Wednesday, the South China Morning Post reported.

 

Additional reporting from the Associated Press