Image: A coast guard stands guard at the coast as Typhoon Malakas approaches in Yilan, Taiwan September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China is bracing for its second typhoon in a week after government raised their alert to “orange” for Typhoon Malakas on Saturday, just as southeastern provinces continue to clean up after an earlier, stronger storm, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Malakas will be the 16th storm of this year’s typhoon season, coming after Typhoon Meranti made landfall in Fujian province on Thursday. That storm has killed at least 28 people in China and Taiwan and cut power to more than a million homes.
Ahead of landfall, Meranti drew a “red alert” in China’s warning system for severe weather that ranks red as most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue. Meranti has since caused over 16.9 billion yuan ($2.53 billion) of damage, authorities said.
Malakas is expected to bring heavy rains to the coasts of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces as well as parts of Taiwan from Saturday night to Sunday, Xinhua reported quoting China’s National Meteorological Center.
Authorities had earlier on Saturday issued a “yellow” alert for Malakas, but raised it to “orange” later after it skirted Taiwan.
Waves as high as 4.4 meters (14.44 ft) are likely in those coastal provinces and ships are advised to stay clear of the area, said China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center.
Support teams have been sent to Zhejiang and Fujian provinces as well as the commercial hub of Shanghai to prepare aid and relief, Xinhua said.
In Taiwan, Malakas has prompted schools and companies to close and disrupted flights and train services. No damage or casualties have been reported.
Before Meranti struck mainland China, dozens of flights and train services were canceled, disrupting travel at the beginning of a three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Meranti was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the coast since 1949, Xinhua said.
Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross warm Pacific waters, and bringing fierce winds and rain when they reach land.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.