Typhoon Matmo downgraded to tropical storm as it makes landfall in China
High mountains and speedy crossing limit damage to Taiwan, but weakened storm still poses flood risk to coastal provinces
Typhoon Matmo on Wednesday was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made landfall in heavily populated Fujian province after crossing Taiwan overnight causing only minor damage.
Matmo, the second typhoon to hit the mainland in as many weeks, slammed into Taiwan with winds of 140km/h but lost much of its power as it crossed the island’s high mountains.
While last week’s much stronger Typhoon Ramassun left scores dead in the Philippines and southern provinces, Matmo still poses a risk of heavy flooding on its projected path west of Wenzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
Transport, especially shipping and aviation, made contingencies before the storms arrival. More than 30,000 fishing boats returned to port in Fujian. Some 95 flights were put on standby for possible cancellation, but by 4pm yesterday only 24 flights had done so as Matmo was downgraded.
Xiamen Airport confirmed that 107 flights had been cancelled by 5:30pm. Fuzhou Airport confirmed that 4pm, all arriving and departing flights were cancelled except Uni Air flights B7276/5 from Kaohsiung to Fuzhou, Dragon Air flights KA662/3 from Hong Kong to Fuzhou and Hong Kong Airlines flights HX142/147 from Hong Kong to Fuzhou.
The Nanchang Railway Administration in Jiangxi said yesterday that 118 trains from Fujian and Jiangxi to Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Ningbo and Shenzhen were suspended yesterday and today. A further 64 trains to Fuzhou, Fuding, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Longyan, Nanchang and Jiujiang were all suspended.
The Nanchang Railway Administration in Jiangxi said yesterday that 118 trains from Fujian and Jiangxi to Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Ningbo and Shenzhen were suspended yesterday and today.
Meteorologists in Taiwan said the storm’s rapid transit across the island also reduced damage before it entered the Taiwan Strait. But Hsieh Ming-chang, a forecaster with the Central Weather Bureau, warned that lingering rain from the storm would continue to fall for the few days.