Typhoon Meranti kills one in Taiwan before striking China

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 15 (UPI) — Taiwanese officials said Typhoon Meranti killed at least one person and injured at least 44 before the storm system made landfall on mainland China on Thursday.

Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center said nearly 1 million homes lost power and about 720,000 were without water on Wednesday. As of 8 a.m. Thursday, about 400,000 people were without power and 360,000 without water.

Most afflicted homes were in southern and eastern Taiwan, which were the most battered by the typhoon. Officials say Meranti caused an estimated $3.15 million in damages in the agriculture sector.

In its latest update, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said Meranti had maximum sustained winds of 44 mph and wind gusts of 62 mph as it moves north-northeast through China’s Fujian province.

Though the storm’s strength lessened after making landfall, it was powerful enough to destroy an 800-year-old wooden bridge from the Song dynasty in Fujian’s Yongchun county.

“The whole city is heartbroken! The bridge had withstood a long and stormy history but had no luck with Meranti,” the local tourism bureau said in a statement.

Authorities warn heavy rains and strong winds will continue due to Meranti in China, with the possibility of mudslides. Another storm, Typhoon Malakas, is expected to make landfall in China on Saturday.

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