Strongest typhoon since 2013: Meranti slams into China after killing one in Taiwan

By By Jordan Root, AccuWeather Meteorolgist
September 17, 2016, 7:22:17 PM EDT

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After killing one person in Taiwan, once-Super Typhoon Meranti made landfall in eastern China on early Thursday morning, local time.

Meranti reached super typhoon status on Monday afternoon. A super typhoon is classified when sustained wind speeds hit at least 240 km/h (150 mph).

Maximum sustained winds within Meranti peaked at 306 km/h (190 mph) on Tuesday night as the powerful storm approached southern Taiwan.

Meranti, at that time, was the strongest typhoon in the Western Pacific since Super Typhoon Haiyan in November of 2013, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the world. Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in some countries, was the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines in recorded history. More than 6,000 people were killed.

Meranti weakened before making landfall in southeastern China on early Thursday morning local time with its strength equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

Meranti will continue to weaken over eastern China. While the risk of damaging winds is decreasing, torrential rain will pour down from Fujian to Jiangsu provinces into Friday evening. This includes Shanghai.

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The rain could to trigger flooding as well as mudslides in higher terrain areas. With China celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival), the rain can ruin or put a damper on celebrations.

The largest impacts from Meranti in China have been along the coasts, particularly in eastern parts of the Guangdong Province and the southern areas of the Fujian Province.

Around 1.65 million people lost power in the Fujian Province on Thursday, according to The Guardian.

Meranti shattered windows on high buildings and caused disruption of tap water supplies in Xiamen, according to Xinhua.

There are reports that streets in Xiamen are littered with broken glass and downed tree branches and billboards.

While there have been no reports of fatalities in eastern China, Meranti is linked to the death of one person in Taiwan.

A 58-year-old fisherman was found dead early on Thursday in Kaohsiung City. Xinhua reports the man was swept out to sea on Wednesday.

Meranti brought damage to much of Taiwan with the worst conditions along the southeast coast. Rough surf caused a dangerous storm surge of 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 feet).

Sustained winds of 160 km/h to 190 km/h (100 mph to 120 mph) along the southeastern coast resulted in downed trees and widespread power outages.

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Taiwan Power Company told Xinhua that 1.01 million homes lost power. More than 710,000 homes also endured water shortages.

Taipei felt some impacts from the storm, but most of the rain and wind from Meranti remained to the south of the city.

Taiwan should remain on alert in the wake of Meranti as Typhoon Malakas approaches the region. It will likely track farther north than Meranti but could still bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the country before turning north toward Japan.

AccuWeather Meteorologists Brian Lada, Courtney Spamer and Kristina Pydynowski contributed to this story.

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