Typhoon Meranti leaves 13 dead, 700,000 affected in southern mainland China as Taiwan braces for new round of pummelling from Malakas

Meranti travels towards Shanghai and Jiangsu after bringing down thousands of houses and destroying crops

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 3:49pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2016, 5:21pm

The death toll from Meranti rose to 13 on mainland China on Friday as it continued to ravage the country’s eastern coast, pelting it with heavy rain even after weakening from a typhoon into a tropical storm.

Meanwhile, Taiwan – which saw one killed and 44 injured in Meranti – braced itself for the arrival of yet another typhoon on Friday as Malakas moved from the southern tip of the island towards its north.

In Fujian, seven people have been killed and nine remain missing since Meranti landed in the province on early Thursday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The storm, which shattered windows and disrupted water and power supplies, is the world’s strongest so far this year. It was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday afternoon after it battered Fujian for 12 long hours.

More than 700,000 people across 79 counties in the costal province were affected, among whom nearly half had to be relocated, according to the ministry’s report.

The typhoon left a trail of destruction in its wake, with gales bringing down more than 1,600 houses and damaging another 12,000. Over 22,000 hectares of crops were destroyed.

Authorities estimated direct economic losses of some 1.66 billion yuan (HK$1.93 billion).

On Friday, Xiamen in Fujian was gradually recovering its water and power supplies, Xinhua reported.

As it travels north, Meranti will bring heavy downpours to Shanghai and Jiangsu province, where a blue alert has been issued, according to the National Meteorological Centre.

Jiangsu’s central and eastern parts were expected to be the worst hit, with rainfall reaching 260 millimetres, the centre said.

Heavy rainfall has already killed four people and left two missing in Zhejiang province, where more than 145,000 people had to be relocated and direct economic losses reaching 1.17 billion yuan.