Super Typhoon Meranti barrels into Taiwan

Super Typhoon Meranti barrels into Taiwan

It caused three fatalities in Taiwan and over US$21 million in damage, but the impact was worse in eastern China with 83 fatalities and US$1.5 billion.

Mudslides will be possible in eastern China.

Meranti's strength had prompted China to issue its highest warning for high ocean waves as emergency crews and officials prepared for the deluge.

Typhoon Meranti ripped its way through southern Taiwan on Wednesday.

Miranti, running 210 kilometers per hour has beennoted the same as a hurricane category 4 in the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Super Typhoon Meranti could bring a 10ft storm surge as it is set to be the strongest storm to batter the Earth since 2013.

Most domestic flights have been cancelled, including all from Kaohsiung airport, where global flights were also affected.

More than 500,000 homes in Taiwan lost power as Meranti struck with maximum winds of almost 230kph.

There were severe travel disruptions for the Mid-Autumn Festival weekend starting Thursday; over 300 domestic and worldwide flights had been cancelled and trains running along the east coast had been halted.

There, official media say it could be the strongest in the area since 1969.

The authorities have deployed nearly 4,000 military and police personnel to the region to prepare for potential future evacuations.

But the main brunt of the storm will fall on mainland China.

Authorities in six southeastern provinces as well as Shanghai initiated emergency response measures, according to Xinhua. The weather bureau's Hsieh said Tropical Storm Malakas was expected to be closest to the island on Friday and Saturday, but was unlikely to make landfall.

It took Meranti just 36 hours to intensify from category 1 to category 5.

The super typhoon will likely dampen celebrations and disrupt traffic during the four-day Mid-autumn Festival holiday period starting Thursday, a major holiday in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Ships have been ordered to return to harbor and residents told to stay indoors.

With gusts of more than 227 kph - the strongest ever recorded by the Hengchun meteorological station since it was set up in 1896 - Meranti is the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Taiwan since 1995, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Taiwan is a frequent target for powerful Pacific typhoons.

By late Wednesday and early Thursday, the eye of the storm should move south of Xiamen, an area that is still recovering from the impact of Nepartak a few months ago.

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