Still reeling from a typhoon that left at least 28 people dead, Chinese authorities on Saturday warned of high waves and strong winds from a new storm, Malakas, that was bearing down on the east coast of the Chinese mainland after skirting Taiwan.
China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned of waves as high as 40 feet off Taiwan’s east coast, and southern and central parts of the East China Sea, and 14-foot ones off the coastal regions of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
As the storm approached, forecasters raised the alert level to orange, the second highest level.
Earlier this week, Typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm to hit China this year, lashed a wide swath of the country’s coastal areas, including Shanghai, with heavy rain and winds up to 175 miles per hour. It struck Xiamen City, in Fujian province Thursday morning.
Fujian flood control authorities said 18 people died and 11 others were missing. Ten died and four were missing in neighboring Zhejiang province, Xinhua reported. More than 900 houses collapsed in Zhejiang alone, as high winds and heavy rain slammed the area.
The news agency said Meranti paralyzed several cities in southern Fujian province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.
China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned ships to stay clear of coastal regions in Fujian, Guangdong and Shanghai. China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also activated an emergency response to cope with Malakas.
By Saturday morning, Taiwan local time, 2,658 people had been evacuated from New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Yilan County and Hualien County, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center, the Central News Agency reported.
Taiwan Railways Administration suspended all services on its Pingxi Line and Shen’ao Line on Saturday, as well as services on its North Link Line and Yilan Line around the northeastern part of Taiwan.
Malakas will likely decrease in power as it moves northeast from Taiwan and China, but intensify again into the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane before reaching Yonaguni on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather.com.