Maria to drench eastern China after slamming Taiwan, Japan's Ryukyu Islands

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 12, 2018, 5:27:25 AM EDT

Maria will continue to threaten parts of eastern China with heavy rainfall into Thursday as the former super typhoon continues to move inland and weaken.

Maria made landfall near the city of Fuzhou on Wednesday morning as a powerful and dangerous typhoon before weakening into a tropical storm. Northern Fujian and southern Zhejiang provinces faced the brunt of Maria’s fury.

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View of Typhoon Maria from the Himawari 8 satellite on Tuesday evening, local time. Image courtesy of Colorado State University.

Peak wind gusts of 42 m/s (94 mph) were reported along coastal communities in Fujian province.

Flooding rain and destructive winds whipped across the cities of Wenzhou, Fuzhou and Ningde. The worst of conditions passed to the south of Shanghai where there were a few gusty showers on Wednesday.

Many coastal schools and businesses were closed in Fuzhou on Wednesday and Nanchang railway reported more than 200 train cancellations due to the storm, according to Xinhua News.

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Maria continues to weaken after moving onshore, reducing the risk for damaging winds; however, flooding rainfall will remain a concern into Thursday.

"Maria's excessive rainfall can lead to significant flooding," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said. "Mudslides are a serious concern in areas of rugged terrain."

Areas as far inland such as Jiangxi, northern Hunan and Hubei can expect flooding downpours as Maria continues to track northwestward across the interior of China.

Anyone in the path of Maria is urged to stock up on essential nonperishable food, medicine and items needed to protect your home and business from wind damage. Keep gas tanks and cans filled and cell phones fully charged.

Evacuation routes should be reviewed. Be sure to follow the advice of local government and heed any evacuation orders in the coming days.

The U.S. State Department issued a weather advisory for American citizens in eastern China.

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Typhoon Maria slammed Japan's southern Ryukyu Islands with heavy rain and powerful winds on Tuesday before conditions improved Tuesday night.

On Tuesday afternoon local time, Maria's eye passed directly over Japan's Miyakojima Island. The sun reportedly emerged as the eye of the cyclone passed over the island. Winds became nearly calm following 34-m/s (76-mph) gusts only minutes earlier.

A peak wind gust of 45 m/s (100 mph) was reported on Miyakojima as the eye wall of Maria passed over the island.

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After lashing the Ryukyu Islands, Maria passed by the tip of northern Taiwan on Tuesday night. While the typhoon did not make landfall on the island, it passed close enough to bring significant impacts to the nation on Tuesday. Maria's winds and rainfall tapered off on Wednesday morning.

Rainfall totaled more than 400 mm (16 inches) in Beitou District, Taipei City from Tuesday into Wednesday.

Wind gusts reached 22 m/s (50 mph) in Taipei and combined with heavy rainfall to cause travel disruptions.

New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Yilan, Miaoli all declared a typhoon holiday on Wednesday, closing schools and businesses, according to the Taiwan Times.

While the name was retired in the Atlantic Ocean after the devastation Puerto Rico endured in 2017, Maria can still be used in the western Pacific Ocean as every tropical basin in the world has its own unique list.

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