Typhoons make Mid-Autumn Festival a washout on China’s east coast
Typhoon Meranti makes landfall as holiday starts, Malakas follows behind
Storms made for a wet and windy Mid-Autumn Festival on China’s east coast, with Typhoon Meranti hitting on Thursday and Typhoon Malakas expected to bring more heavy rain on Sunday as many people head back to work.
Meranti had left at least 28 people dead – including 18 in Fujian province – and 15 missing on the east coast by yesterday, according to Xinhua.
Meteorological authorities said Malakas, the 16th typhoon this year, was moving at up to 20km/h towards the east coast and expected to bring gales and heavy rain to coastal parts of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, as well as northern and central Taiwan, before heading towards Japan on Saturday might.
Authorities issued a yellow weather alert, the third-highest warning in the four-tier scale.
Saturday was the last day of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival and many mainlanders are expected to return to work on Sunday. But the threat of bad weather from Malakas forced some rail authorities in southern China to reduce train speeds or suspend services.
After hitting Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces on Thursday, Meranti gradually weakened to a tropical storm on Friday. It uprooted big trees, knocked down thousands of homes and cut electricity to tens of thousands of households.
“This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival is a Mid-Autumn disaster. Typhoon Meranti scared me to death. Sometimes water was cut off; sometimes phone signals were dead; sometimes the internet was down,” one resident of Xiamen in Fujian wrote online.
“People living in other places were celebrating the festival. I was eating instant noodles and potato chips for dinner. Xiamen is like a deserted island ... Please leave Xiamen alone.”
Big storms have hit during the festival before. In 2013, between September 16 and 24, Super Typhoon Usagi devastated Fujian, Zhejiang and particularly Guangdong province, where close to 30 people died and more than nine million were affected.