Typhoon Maria inflicts US$82 million in damage on eastern China

Coastal areas evacuated and power supplies severed across the provincial capital

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2018, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2018, 10:17pm

China lifted its alert for Typhoon Maria on Thursday, a day after the storm slammed into the country’s east coast and interrupted power and transport across Fujian province.

Fujian’s flood control office estimated the storm inflicted 547 million yuan (US$82 million) in economic losses on the province, including 76 million yuan in damage to water infrastructure, state-run news agency Xinhua reported. There were no reports of casualties.

In the provincial capital Fuzhou and the neighbouring city of Ningde, 110, 200 people were affected and more than 40 homes collapsed, the report said.

In all, about 226,600 people in Fujian were told to leave their homes.

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The eye of the category 4 storm made landfall in Lianjiang county, on the outskirts of Fuzhou at about 9.10am on Wednesday, bringing winds of more than 51 metres per second and whipping up waves up to 8 metres high, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The storm severed power across the county, affecting at least 86,000 customers. Hundreds of emergency crews were deployed to restore electricity supplies, with more than half of the outages repaired by 4pm that afternoon, the report said.

Coastal areas were evacuated and roughly 600 boats returned to harbour.

In Fuzhou, residents battled waterlogged homes and knee-deep flooding in some streets. About 240,000 customers were also left without power.

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The city’s police department sent 800 police and 823 auxiliary officers to support flood control efforts, including setting up roadblocks and redirecting traffic around waterlogged areas.

Taxi and bus services gradually resumed throughout the day and flights from Fuzhou Changle International Airport continued from around 4pm, after 167 flights were cancelled by the storm, according to China News Service.

Train services were also interrupted by the high winds and heavy rain.

By 5pm, Maria had weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 18 metres per second.