China braces for 2nd typhoon; Taiwan drenched

AP Wire Service

BEIJING (AP) — China was bracing Wednesday for the arrival of a second typhoon in less than a week, as communities along the country’s southern coast cleared away debris in the wake of the earlier storm, which killed dozens of people.

The country’s national meteorological center said Wednesday afternoon that Typhoon Matmo, with gusts of 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour, was traveling northeast in coastal waters off the heavily populated province of Fujian.

Authorities in eastern Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, ordered fishing boats to return to port and stepped up patrols to watch for breaks in coastal and river embankments, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The typhoon weakened after dumping heavy rain overnight on Taiwan, where it injured five people and knocked out power to 31,505 homes, according to the island’s Central News Agency.

The center of the typhoon was forecast to turn north after hitting land and pass over areas west of Shanghai, China’s biggest business center, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

Rains of up to 300 millimeters (12 inches) were forecast in Shanghai and areas as far north as Jiangsu province, Xinhua said, citing the country’s weather agency.

Farther south on the mainland, communities in Guangdong province and on Hainan Island were clearing away debris left by Typhoon Rammasun, which killed 56 people in China and 161 in total as it rampaged across the Philippines, China, and Vietnam last week. Another 20 people were missing in China, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Rammasun became the strongest typhoon to hit China in four decades, destroying tens of thousands of homes, damaging roads and ports, and cutting electricity and water supplies in southern Chinese cities. It packed winds of up to 216 kph (130 mph), according to the China Meteorological Administration. (end)

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