Super Typhoon Nepartak attacked Taiwan with powerful winds and torrential rain as it made landfall Friday (July 8), killing two people, injuring 72 and forcing more than 15,000 to evacuate their homes while the island cancelled hundreds of flights and shut offices and schools.
Then the remains of Nepartak made landfall in China’s eastern Fujian province on Saturday (July 9) still with high winds and heavy rain, and forcing the relocation of an estimated number of more than 420,000 of people.
With growing speed to 234 kilometres per hour, Nepartak landed at Taimali in eastern Taitung county shortly before 6:00 am, Friday July 8.
It was recorded as the strongest gusts since 1901, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.
One man drowned off a beach in Hualien county Thursday, according to an official tally.
TV footage showed a cargo train car was blown off the tracks in Taitung while fallen shop signs and toppled trees littered the streets.
More than 15,000 people have been moved from their homes which were prone to landslides or flooding and about 3,700 of them were in shelters.
Nearly 4,000 people evacuated were in New Taipei City, which includes Wulai, a popular hot spring area near the capital which was cut off for days after Typhoon Soudelor ravaged Taiwan last August.
As many as 331,900 households lost power due to the storm, with close to 255,000 without electricity as of Friday morning although in the afternoon The Associated Press reports that power has been partially restored. Thus far, the storm has killed two people and injured 72.
By late morning, Nepartak had weakened to a medium-strength typhoon, packing maximum sustained winds of 163 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 230 kph, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said
Saturday morning, Nepartak became a tropical storm, as expected, Taiwan’s high mountains have torn the storm apart making it no longer the fearsome highly organised typhoon it has been when it made landfall Friday morning.
However, a tropical storm is still serious, especially when it is headed to areas that are already flooded.
Huge rainstorms in China’s Yangtze river basin have left more than 120 people dead and more than 40 missing, with more than a million forced out of their homes by widespread flooding, state media reported (RFA July 7).
Nepartak made landfall on Saturday afternoon in east China’s Fujian Province, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the coastal city. The storm hit land in Fujian province just before 2 p.m., lashing Shishi city with winds of around 100 kph (62 mph), causing huge damage, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
According to Xinhuam a red rainstorm alert was issued in Putian City, which experienced more than 250 millimeters of precipitation in four hours earlier that morning. Forty-three people in a residential area were rescued by firefighters after floodwaters submersed two buildings.
The downpour added to the already seriously flooded city, impeding traffic and causing damage to residential buildings.
Rescuers conducted operations around the city. For example, in Xiuyu district, firefighters rescued a woman who was trapped in the middle of a street by the rising flood.
Many buildings have collapsed and landslides were reported in rural and mountainous areas.
Transportation has been affected by the strong typhoon, as commercial ships have suspended services with planes and trains cancelled and fishing boats have also been recalled to port.
Beaches and entertainment facilities have also been closed for safety concerns.
An incomplete estimation showed more than 420,000 people in four cities, including the provincial capital of Fuzhou, have been urgently relocated, Xinhua says.
Typhoons used to kill many people in China but the government now has enforced evacuations and takes precautions as much as possible in advance, which has helped save many lives.