SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The world’s strongest storm this year killed at last 10 people in China when it hit the southeast coast, the government said on Friday, as rescuers scoured flooded streets and work crews struggled to restore power to more than a million homes.
Typhoon Meranti had largely dissipated by Friday afternoon, a day after it swept in from the Pacific Ocean, clipping the southern tip of Taiwan, and making landfall near the Chinese port city of Xiamen, in Fujian province.
The storm killed seven people in Fujian and three in neighbouring Zhejiang province, state media and the government said. Eleven people were missing.
More than 330,000 people were returning to their homes on Friday after being forced to flee a storm that meteorologists said was the world’s biggest this year.
The typhoon killed one person and injured 38 on Taiwan where people were on Friday preparing for another, Typhoon Malakas, which was forecast to bring heavy rain on Saturday.
The Taiwan weather bureau issued land and sea warnings, urging people to be on alert for severe weather and flooding.
Meranti was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of China’s coast since 1949, the Xinhua state news agency said.
Pictures on state media showed flooded streets, fallen trees and crushed cars in Xiamen.
Three power transmission towers were blown down in the city and utility crews were trying to restore power. Across Fujian, 1.65 million homes had no electricity, Xinhua reported.
Dozens of flights and train services were cancelled on Thursday, disrupting travel at the beginning of a three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross the warm waters of the Pacific and bringing fierce winds and rain when they hit land.
(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Robert Birsel)