Hundreds have been evacuated from Southern Taiwan and China with a red alert being issued in the region as it braves the ‘strongest storm of the year’. Super typhoon Meranti, which has reached speeds of up to 230 miles per hour (370 kph), has forced schools, businesses to close and has led to flight cancellations.
Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau warned that the category 5 storm would threaten southern and eastern cities, including Kaohsiung and Hualien. “This typhoon is the world’s strongest so far this year,” said weather bureau spokesperson Hsieh Pei-yun. “Its impact on Taiwan will peak all day today.”
More than 260,000 households have lost electricity in southern Taiwan and around 4000 military, police personnel have been deployed for further evacuations.
On the other hand, mainland China prepares to bear the brunt of the typhoon. Meranti is expected to touch land in Guangdong or Fujian during the day on Thursday. Chinese state run news agency Xinhua said authorities in six south eastern provinces have initiated emergency response measures.
Just over two months ago, central and southern Taiwan was hit by the Nepartak typhoon. The storm killed three people, cut power, grounded flights and forced thousands to evacuate.