Typhoon Maria, the eighth typhoon this year, made landfall around 9:10am yesterday in Lianjiang County, southeast China’s Fujian Province, bringing gales of up to 42 meters per second at its eye, according to local meteorological authorities.
Chen Zuliang of the county’s flood control office said more than 8,000 people had been evacuated. More than 6,800 people are on standby for rescue missions or to repair damage.
Fujian ordered all fishing boats to return to harbor by Tuesday noon and workers at offshore fish farms were required to return to land by 6pm.
In Fuzhou, the provincial capital, schools and factories in coastal areas were closed. Most outdoor work was suspended.
The ferry between Xiamen in Fujian and Kinmen in Taiwan was halted and more than 850 boats had returned to Xiamen.
The gales and rain have also disrupted trains. More than 200 trains to or from Fujian were cancelled.
The typhoon brought heavy rain to Zhejiang, a province neighboring Fujian, and forced the cancelation of 206 flights.
By noon, 390,000 people in Zhejiang, including 270,000 in Wenzhou, had been evacuated and about 25,000 boats had returned to port or safe sea areas.
In Taiwan, two people were injured and more than 3,000 were moved to shelters. The island’s disaster response center said the two were hit by falling tree limbs in Taipei on Tuesday, as the medium-strength storm passed north of the mountainous island of 23 million people.
The center said a total of 3,430 people had been evacuated from their homes in nine cities and counties by yesterday morning to avoid landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. Seven cities and counties ordered work and school closures for the day.
Downpours of up to 100 millimeters hit some areas overnight, according to the weather bureau, and strong winds were still expected as the storm moved northwest. People were told to avoid the coast where waves as high as 9 meters were recorded.
The typhoon also caused the cancelation of 138 international flights and 170 domestic flights. Its wind speeds reached 191 kilometers per hour.
Trains departing from Shanghai were also affected. Hongqiao Railway Station canceled 49 trains yesterday. Some 7,400 passengers were held up due to the cancelation.
Authorities said most of the canceled trains were scheduled to depart for Zhejiang Province’s southern areas or Fujian.
Passengers holding tickets of these trains can get a full refund at the Hongqiao Railway Station.
Hongqiao later introduced six extra trains to Wenzhou.