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Typhoon Doksuri batters China, Taiwan with high winds and rain

Typhoon Doksuri batters China, Taiwan with high winds and rain
July 28, 2023 Web Desk

BEIJING (AFP) - Typhoon Doksuri hit southeastern China on Friday morning, bringing high winds and battering rains to coastal areas after the deadly storm bypassed Taiwan on its way from the Philippines.

Wind speeds of up to 175 kilometres per hour (110 miles per hour) were recorded as the storm reached the coast of Fujian province around 10:00 am (0200 GMT), Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.

Fears of potential danger to residents and the destruction of property led the national weather observatory to renew the most severe "red alert" in its four-tier system on Friday. State news agency Xinhua reported "more than 416,000 people in Fujian had been evacuated to safe places".

In Xiamen, a major port city on the Taiwan Strait, heavy weather appeared to have ripped the roof off of a bus station and pushed it up against a nearby sign. Some streets in the city were strewn with fallen trees, while significant flooding elsewhere impeded passage by vehicles and brought police to the scene.

Pictures shared on social media showed huge gusts of wind pummelling residential tower blocks on Friday in Jinjiang, a county-level urban area south of the city of Quanzhou. Live footage broadcast by CCTV showed a reporter wading through flooded streets flanked by several downed trees, warning viewers in the area to stay home except in emergencies.

Videos of colossal waves crashing over embankments and howling winds whipping through urban areas were posted to the social media platform Weibo by the state-backed People's Daily. The powerful Typhoon Doksuri is expected to continue moving in a northwestern direction over central China as its intensity gradually weakens.

But Xinhua reported that the storm-level gales would affect "coastal regions of Taiwan, Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong, among others" until 8:00 am on Saturday. China's National Meteorological Center on Friday also renewed an orange alert for rainstorms across broad swathes of the country, effective from 2:00 pm Friday until 2:00 pm Saturday.

Local governments and transport authorities were advised to take precautions as drainage systems and roads are expected to be impacted by heavy rains, Xinhua reported.

Doksuri pounded the northern Philippines on Wednesday, toppling trees and power pylons, and causing widespread electricity cuts as well as landslides and floods. The death toll in the Philippines has risen to 13, with another 21 missing, including four coast guard rescuers, the country's national disaster agency said Friday.

Doksuri had been a super typhoon as it swept across the Pacific Ocean earlier this week, but lost some intensity as it neared the Philippines.