| 28 November 2023, Tuesday |

Typhoon Doksuri destroys power lines, closes factories as it rips into China

Typhoon Doksuri swept into China’s southeastern Fujian province on Friday, bringing torrential rain and strong winds that whipped electricity lines, igniting fires, uprooting trees and forcing factories and shopping centers to close.

According to state media, this is the second biggest typhoon to hit Fujian since the catastrophic Typhoon Meranti in 2016. It caused the closure of schools and businesses, as well as the evacuation of personnel from offshore oil and gas sites.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities, unlike Meranti when it caused at least 11 deaths after it made landfall near the port city of Xiamen.

Doksuri’s wind speed was clocked at 137 km/h (85.1 miles per hour) as of 1 p.m (0500 GMT), according to the National Meteorological Center.

Hourly rainfall in Xiamen, Quanzhou and Putian exceeded 50 mm (2.165 inches), according to the China Meterological Administration (CMA).

“The whole of Xiamen didn’t go to work this morning,” a Xiamen resident surnamed Zhuang told Reuters.

“There are no cars on the roads, and factories and shopping malls are closed. Guess people are scared after Meranti previously.”

Social media video showed eletrical power lines sparking and bursting into flames as winds thrashed Jinjiang, a city of two million, while in Quanzhou massive trees were uprooted and left in the middle of roads.

A woman’s voice in the background of one video shouted, “so many fallen tress. Some are broken down. It is a mess. This is too much. It is horrible.”

Social media videos showed strong winds blowing a large incense burner across the ground at a temple in Jianjiang and residents made makeshift barriers at doors to stop rain from flooding into apartments.

Power and water cuts were experienced in some areas of Jinjiang and Quanzhou, residents told Reuters.

Doksuri, the second typhoon to make landfall in China in less than two weeks, will move north where 10 provinces will experience heavy rain, weather forecasters predict.

It is expected to continue to move in a north-westerly direction with gradually weakening intensity, China’s CMA said.

As it moves north, it will reach agricultural province Anhui, dumping rain on its developing corn, rice, soybean and cotton crops. Analysts say it should weaken by then but are watching closely for potential crop damage.

Typhoon Doksuri has already left a wake of death and destruction in its path as it moved from the Philippines across southern Taiwan.

The storm toppled trees and cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes in southern Taiwan, prompting authorities to shut business for a second day on Friday and warn of extreme winds, landslides and floods. Doksuri was categorised at the second-strongest typhoon level by Taiwan’s weather bureau.

A “hurricane-force-wind” alert was issued in the Taiwanese islands of Penghu and Kinmen, where residents were warned to brace for gusts of more than 155 kmh (96 mph).

The storm had cut power to more than 278,000 homes across Taiwan and downed hundreds of trees in Kaohsiung. Rainfall of more than 1 metre was recorded in the mountainous eastern and southern parts of the island.

More than 200 domestic and international flights were suspended or delayed on Friday and railway services between southern and eastern Taiwan were halted.

A ferry sank near the Philippine capital of Manila after passengers alarmed by strong winds rushed to one side of the boat, overturning it. As many as 36 people have been killed this week during Doksuri’s transit off the northern Philippines.

  • Reuters