Typhoon Meranti death toll rises to 28 as second storm heads to China

XIAMEN CITY, China, Sept. 18 (UPI) — The death toll connected to Typhoon Meranti climbed to at least 28 as Chinese authorities warned of high waves and strong winds from a new typhoon approaching the mainland.

Clean up efforts were continuing as thousands were evacuated in advance of the approaching storm. Typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm to hit China this year, produced heavy rain winds up to 175 mph, including Shanghai. It made landfall in Xiamen City, Fujian, on Thursday morning. It was the strongest typhoon to hit southern Fujian since 1949.

Fujian flood control authorities said 28 people died and 15 others were missing, the Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 902 houses collapsed in Zhejiang alone, 1.5 million people were affected and more than 18,300 houses damaged, the authorities said. Xinhua said Meranti affected several cities in southern Fujian province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.

Tap water supplies were cut off and caused a mass blackout, including at Xiamen University. Bus services and all regular speed trains departing from Xiamen has resumed.

Forecasters raised the alert level to orange, the second highest of four levels, for incoming Typhoon Malakas. It was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.

China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center predicted waves as high as 40 feet off Taiwan’s east coast and southern and central parts of the East China Sea. The coastal regions of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces will see 14-foot waves, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Saturday, 2,658 people were evacuated in Taiwan from New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Yilan County and Hualien County, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center, the Central News Agency reported.

Close to 30,000 vessels in Zhejiang have been urged to remain at harbors.

Malakas likely will become a Category 4 typhoon according to AccuWeather.com.

But when it hits Japan’s Kyushu Island and the northern most Ryukyu Islands on Monday night, it is forecast to drop to a Category 1, according to AccuWeather.com.

Then disruptive winds will strike he rest of southern Japan from Monday night to Tuesday morning.

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