A powerful typhoon accompanied by strong wind and heavy rain pounded Taiwan and islands in the southern Japanese archipelago yesterday, authorities said.
Typhoon Malakas dumped rainfall of up to 55mm per hour on Japan’s Iriomote Island while producing waves of up to 11m in the region, the country’s meteorological agency said.
More than 550 households lost electricity on Yonaguni Island as wind speeds of up to 66.8m per second were recorded there in the morning, Okinawa’s Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper reported.
As of 1pm (0400 GMT), the eye of the storm was 50km northwest of Yonaguni Island, travelling north at 20kph, with maximum sustained winds of 180kph and gusts of 252kph, the agency said.
In Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said the country’s north and northeast were expected to see strong wind and torrential rain later in the day.
The season’s 16th typhoon was moving slower than previously predicted, delaying its worst effects upon Taiwan, the Taiwanese state-run Central News Agency said.
“The strength of Typhoon Malakas is not likely to change. Residents should stay alert to heavy rain during daytime,” bureau forecaster Chen Yi-liang said.
Local train services across Taiwan remained suspended.
Typhoon Malakas was hitting Taiwan just two days after Super Typhoon Meranti caused destruction across large parts of the island.
One person was killed, dozens were injured and millions of others were left without power.
In China, Meranti left 28 people dead and another 15 missing in Fujian province, officials said on Friday.
Before it weakened to a tropical storm on Friday, Meranti brought “extraordinary rainstorms” to Fujian and forced 331,000 people to relocate, the Xinhua state news agency said.
More than 19,000 residences were destroyed, the agency reported.
And yesterday Chinese meteorological authorities issued a “yellow” alert for Typhoon Malakas, forecasting strong winds and heavy rain in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
China uses a four-tier, colour-coded system for inclement weather, with red being the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Malakas comes after Typhoon Meranti made landfall in Fujian province on Thursday.
Ahead of landfall, Meranti drew a “red” alert in china’s warning system.
Meranti has since caused over 16.9bn yuan ($2.53bn) of damage, authorities said.
Malakas is expected to bring heavy rains to the coasts of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
Waves as high as 4.4m are likely in those coastal provinces and ships are advised to stay clear of the area, said China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre.
Support teams have been sent to Zhejiang and Fujian provinces as well as the commercial hub of Shanghai to prepare aid and relief, Xinhua said.
Before Meranti struck mainland china, dozens of flights and train services were cancelled, disrupting travel at the beginning of a three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
Meranti was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the coast since 1949, Xinhua said.
Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross warm Pacific waters, and bringing fierce winds and rain when they reach land.
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