The strongest typhoon recorded this year, Meranti has battered Taiwan with speeds recorded of up to 227 kilometers per hour (141 mph).
Meteorological officials say this is the strongest typhoon to hit Taiwan in 21 years, with violent winds and torrential rain causing disruption to transportation ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday period, with over 300 flights being cancelled.
Local authorities in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian,Guangdong, Hainan as well as Shanghai will closely monitor the typhoon and release information as it comes in, according to a circular released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction (NCDR).
The NCDR has asked authorities in areas in the typhoon’s path to prepare aid and relief.
Typhoon Meranti will make landfall in south China’s Guangdong or Fujian provinces during the day on Thursday, meteorological authorities forecast.
If it lands in eastern Guangdong, it will become the strongest typhoon to churn ashore there in 47 years, said Zhang Dong, a forecaster with the Guangdong provincial meteorologic station.
“It only took nine hours for Meranti to grow into a super typhoon from a typhoon,” he said. “Packing winds between 202 to 220 kilometers per hour (125-137 mph), it is interacting with another storm, Malakas, 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away, and the route could be hard to predict.”
China’s State Oceanic Administration issued a wave warning on Tuesday afternoon, as the Bashi Strait and northeast part of the South China Sea can expect waves eight to 13 meters (26-43 feet) high.
Provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters in Guangdong asked fishing boats to return and take shelter, and management of tourist activities on beaches should be tightened to brace for the typhoon.
Typhoon Meranti triggers 17-meter record-high waves
Typhoon Meranti triggered waves 17 meters (56 feet) high on Wednesday as it swept across seas off the southern coast of Taiwan, according to the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center (NMEFC).
The waves were the highest ever recorded in the history of China’s offshore wave surveillance, said the NMEFC, which on Wednesday upgraded its warning for ocean waves triggered by Typhoon Meranti to “red,” the highest alert on a four-color warning system.
Gales and waves up to 12-meters (39 feet) high have been observed off the eastern coast of Taiwan, as this year’s 14th typhoon moves westward and is expected to hit the coast of Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces on Wednesday and Thursday.
The NMEFC ordered ships to return to harbor and residents to stay indoors. It has also advised that dams be reinforced.
China’s four-tier severe weather warning system features red as the most serious alert, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Story by Xinhua and CCTV
Paul Williams on Typhoon Meranti’s landfall
To talk more about Typhoon Meranti’s landfall and its impact on mainland China and Taiwan, CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes interviewed AccuWeather meteorologist, Paul Williams.