Typhoon Meranti death toll rises to 28

Updated: 2016-09-18 06:24


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FUZHOU - Typhoon Meranti has left 28 people dead and 15 others missing in the eastern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang.

Meranti, the strongest typhoon to hit China this year, made landfall in Xiamen City, Fujian, Thursday morning. It was also the strongest typhoon to hit southern Fujian since 1949.

Fujian flood control authorities said Saturday that 18 people died and 11 others were missing in the province. The typhoon paralyzed several cities in the south of the province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. Industrial production in the three cities were suspended.

More than 18,300 houses were damaged. Direct economic losses in Fujian were over 16.9 billion yuan (about 2.6 billion U.S. dollars).

Ten people died and four remain unaccounted for in neighboring Zhejiang after the typhoon brought heavy rainfall. Most casualties were caused by landslide and flashflood in the rural areas, Zhejiang provincial flood control headquarters said Saturday.

More than 902 houses collapsed and over 1.5 million people were affected, it said.

As Meranti waned, China's meteorological authorities issued a yellow alert for Typhoon Malakas on Saturday, forecasting strong winds and heavy rain.

Heavy rain will sweep parts of Zhejiang and Fujian, as well as central and northern parts of Taiwan from Saturday to Sunday, with up to 120 millimeters of rain expected, meteorological authorities said.

Typhoon Malakas is expected to bring gales, downpours and high tides to Zhejiang, wreaking further havoc after Meranti, provincial flood control said.

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

China has a four-tier color-coded warning system for severe weather, with red the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.