Typhoon Maria barrels into China after pounding Taiwan

 smh.com.au  7/11/2018 6:12:32 AM 

Typhoon Maria barrels into China after pounding Taiwan

Taipei: Typhoon Maria has injured two people in Taiwan and prompted more than 3000 to be moved to shelters before making landfall in China on Wednesday.

Large waves crash against the shoreline as typhoon Maria approaches Wenling city in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

Large waves crash against the shoreline as typhoon Maria approaches Wenling city in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

Photo: Xinhua

The government's disaster response centre said the two people were hit by falling tree limbs in the capital Taipei. The government ordered schools and businesses to close early.

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Some 3430 people evacuated their homes in nine cities and counties by Wednesday morning to avoid landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. Troops were deployed in some areas.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre said Maria appeared to be a well-organised storm on infrared satellite imagery. It has fluctuated between typhoon and super typhoon strength and was a typhoon when heading for landfall. Its maximum sustained winds were near 231.5 kilometres per hour on Tuesday morning.

China Airlines and Eva Airways, Taiwan's two largest carriers, cancelled dozens of flights and warned that more could be delayed. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific, said more than a dozen flights had been cancelled.

Typhoon Maria heading to Taiwan on Tuesday.

Typhoon Maria heading to Taiwan on Tuesday.

Photo: NASA

Across the Taiwan Strait, schools and factories in coastal areas of the Chinese province of Fujian are closed. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated to shelters and thousands of fishing boats returned to port.

In western China's in Sichuan province, heavy rains and landslides prompted the closures of the popular Mount Emei and Jiuzhaigou tourist destinations.

Meanwhile in Japan, the death toll from historic rains and landslides reached 176 on Wednesday with dozens still missing.

Taiwan is frequently hit by typhoons during the summer, but it has stepped up preparations to guard against them since Typhoon Morakot devastated the island and killed nearly 700 people in 2009, mostly from landslides.

AP, Reuters

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