This year’s strongest typhoon to date hit southeastern China on Sep. 14 after it swept through Taiwan and brought many parts of the region to a standstill. The torrential rains and powerful wind have killed at least seven and injured dozens.
Meranti made its landfall in Fujian’s coastal city of Xiamen with a speed of 170 km/h (106 mph), making it the strongest to strike the city since 1949. It is also the most powerful typhoon recorded this year worldwide, according to the Weather Channel.
Meranti’s visit gave many Xiamen residents a restless night. Ms. Yang, a resident from Xiamen, said that she has been hearing the sound of ambulances since Wednesday night as the landfall of Meranti brought a widespread blackout to the city. “I was awakened by the wind…It felt like small monsters were trying to drill into our window. It was really terrifying.”
The morning light revealed a city completely unrecognizable. Hundreds of thousands of trees lay flat on the ground, windows in tall buildings were splintered, and an ancient bridge that had withstood storms over the past 800 years had been washed away.
The city airport and several hangars saw serious damage as the powerful wind ripped off roofs. A Boeing 767 was damaged as the wind pushed it again fences near the parking lot.
At least 187 flights and over 140 trains were canceled, and the water supply throughout the city as well as power supply in major areas were cut off, according to China News Network.
Video footage also shows a giant inflated moon, apparently set up in celebration of China’s traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, rolling down the streets.
Merati’s strength has significantly dropped as it continues moving northward at a speed of 20 km/h (12.4 mph), yet heavy rainstorms and flooding are expected in the next two days in over seven southern provinces and municipalities, such as Zhejiang Province and the city of Shanghai.