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Typhoon "Megi" hits China after killing at least four and injuring 527 in Taiwan

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Typhoon “Megi” has made its final landfall after hitting the coastal city of Quanzhou in China’s Fujian Province at 20:40 UTC on September 27, 2016. Megi was packing winds of up to 120 km/h (74 mph) at the time of landfall and dumping very heavy rain. Initial reports from local media say one man died after a flash flood tore through his home. Flash floods and landslides will continue to pose a significant threat. In Taiwan, Megi left at least 4 people dead and more than 520 injured.

Xinhua said more than 120 000 people who work close to shore or at sea have been moved by the Fujian authorities. The province’s 31 700 fishing boats have been recalled to port to avoid the high winds.

From 7 a.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday (local time), four counties and one city in Fujian saw more than 300 mm (11.8 inches) of precipitation, while the precipitation in 15 counties, districts and cities was between 200 and 300 mm (7.9 – 11.8 inches).

The water level of local rivers surpassed alert levels, said the provincial flood control office.

Roads and streets of Fuzhou, the provincial capital, were waterlogged, affecting traffic.

Typhoon “Megi” flood in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China on September 28, 2016. Credit: Xinhua

Typhoon “Megi” aftermath in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China on September 28, 2016. Credit: Xinhua

Before hitting China, Megi’s eye passed right over Taiwan. Powerful winds and bands of heavy rain blanketed the island, causing deaths of at least 4 people. Three people suffered fatal falls and a fourth person died in a truck crash, said Lee Wei-sen, a spokesman for Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operations Center. 

According to latest figures from the Center (early September 28), more than 527 people were injured, many from falling and windblown objects.

In Miaoli County, three workers with state-run utility Taiwan Power Company were injured after their engineering truck tumbled into a 10-meter-deep (32 feet) valley while working to restore power in a mountainous part of the county. One of them is in critical condition, according to Miaoli General Hospital. 

More than 8 000 people were evacuated, mostly from mountainous areas at risk of landslides or floods. 

More than 3.8 million households suffered power outages, and nearly 300 000 had their water supply cut off in hours after the landfall as Megi continued to batter most of Taiwan with strong gusts and heavy rain. This is the second highest number of homes facing power outage in Taiwan’s history, behind the 4.5 million caused by Typhoon “Soudelor” in 2015.

Typhoon “Megi” over Taiwan on September 27, 2016. Credit: NASA  Aqua/MODIS

Train service, which was canceled for most of the day, was scheduled to start up again on September 28, some 24 hours after the landfall.

Authorities had raised alert levels for Taiwan, which is prone to landslides and flooding, said National Fire Agency Director-General Chen Wen-lung.

Some 5 500 trees along the roads of Taipei have been uprooted.

Parts of north-east Yilan County received 1 300 mm (51.2 inches) of rain since Monday, September 26.

Megi is now dumping very heavy rain over China. There is a significant threat of severe flash floods and landslides.

72 hours of rainfall accumulation by 00:00 UTC on September 28, 2016. Credit: NASA/TRMM

Featured image: Typhoon “Megi” over Taiwan on September 27, 2016. Credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS

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