Massive typhoon hits eastern China, Taiwan, killing 5
BEIJING (AP) — A massive typhoon left one person dead in eastern China on Wednesday, a day after killing four and injuring more than 600 in Taiwan, where authorities remained on alert for the possibility of a landslide.
Typhoon Megi caused more than $10 million in damage as it swept across Taiwan before weakening into a tropical storm after hitting the coastal city of Quanzhou in China's Fujian province before dawn, Taiwan's weather service said. At its height, it was packing winds of up to 118 kilometers (74 miles) per hour, China's National Meteorological Center said.
One person died after several structures collapsed in Quanzhou, the official China News Service reported. Schools were closed and dozens of flights were canceled.
In Fuzhou, Fujian's capital, people were shown on state television walking through knee-deep waters that had swamped major roads. Rescue workers were seen pulling stranded residents through the streets on inflatable boats.
The storm was forecast to move northwest Wednesday and gradually fade away.
In Taiwan, nearly 4 million homes lost power and 10 provincial highways remained closed Wednesday, one day after heavy rain and sustained winds of 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour blanketed the island, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported. More than 4,800 people remained in emergency shelters Wednesday afternoon.
Taiwan's Central Emergency Operations Center reported that the 625 injured included eight Japanese tourists traveling in a tour bus that turned on its side in central Taiwan. Three people suffered fatal falls and a fourth person died in a truck crash, Taiwan's Central Emergency Operations Center said.
Many of the injuries were from falling and wind-blown objects. Three state utility workers were injured when their truck tumbled into a valley while they were trying to restore power in a mountainous area, the Central News Agency reported.
A spokesman for the center said Wednesday that emergency officials were closely monitoring Taiwan's mountain regions for possible landslides. They were also working to restore power and water.
Megi was 500 kilometers (310 miles) in diameter at its largest, and rainfall had topped 300 millimeters (12 inches) in the south and eastern mountains of Taiwan.
More than 8,000 people were evacuated, mostly from mountainous areas at risk of landslides or floods. The weather forced the cancellation of 224 flights at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport. Authorities had closed schools, offices and most of Taiwan's railway system Tuesday.
Megi was the fourth typhoon of the year to hit Taiwan and third in the last two weeks.
On the Chinese coast, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Taiwan at its nearest point, fishing boats were ordered back to port, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.