| 27 September 2023, Wednesday |

Floods from waning Typhoon Haikui hit transport, force evacuations in China

Intense rain from Typhoon Haikui’s remnants pounded southeastern China early Wednesday, causing flooding and waterlogging that led cities in Fujian province to halt subway operations, close schools, and evacuate tens of thousands.

The rain surpassed 12-year-old records in Fuzhou, the provincial capital, according to weather officials, sparking fears that 49 reservoirs had reached flood levels.

More than 36,000 people were evacuated from homes, power and communications links were damaged and nearly 4,195 hectares (10,366 acres) of farmland inundated, causing losses the state broadcaster said stood at 552.1 million yuan ($75 million).

Floodwaters gushed down streets in Fuzhou and the city of Fuqing to its south, knocking over motorcycles and trash bins and stranding cars, video images on social media showed.

Media reports showed submerged cars, marooned shops and apartments as well as landslides and mudslides.

Fuzhou received up to 554 mm (1.8 feet) of cumulative rain on Tuesday, the national forecaster said, for an hourly record of close to 150 mm (0.5 ft).

That surpassed the volume brought by Typhoon Doksuri in late July, which ripped through Fujian to cause floods and losses of $2 billion, state media said.

Fuzhou closed subway lines and suspended train services, while schools shut for a second day.

The floods have hit many cities in Fujian, exposing the fragility of urban drainage and other infrastructure, state-backed The Paper quoted a provincial official, Chen Yunong, as saying.

Waterlogging in both old cities and new urban areas needs to be tackled, Chen said.

Putian and Quanzhou were among six cities elsewhere in Fujian flagged as being at risk of flash floods and landslides. The provincial government told local authorities to prepare to move out people from areas likely to be the hardest hit.

The rains are expected to last until Friday in central and southern parts of the province, where Typhoon Haikui hit land early on Tuesday, before losing strength and being downgraded to a tropical storm.

  • Reuters