Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes and vehicles were swept away in floods as storms from now weakened Typhoon Haikui made landfall in China’s southeastern Fujian province early on Tuesday after battering Taiwan for the past two days.
About 114,400 people were moved from risky areas as the typhoon rolled in with a maximum wind speed of 20 metres (66 feet) per second.
Several areas in Fujian recorded more than 300 mm (1 foot) of rainfall in just over 24 hours. In Fuzhou city, two firefighters were missing after a fire truck carrying nine rescue workers was swept away by floodwaters during a mission, state media reported.
Furniture were seen bobbing up and down in the floodwaters. Vehicles were swept away in the currents and some cars stranded in waterlogged areas were completely submerged, social media posts showed. Schools in Fuzhou city as well as in Xiamen, Quanzhou and Putian were also shut.
Many flights were cancelled at two airports in Fuzhou and Quanzhou, tourist spots and parks were shut, and ports, coastal and river transportation was suspended, state media reported.
The typhoon lost strength and became a tropical storm after its landfall around 5 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday), the national forecaster reported. It was last reported to be moving over southern Guangdong province, and forecasters expect it to continue to weaken.
Haikui slammed into the province just after Typhoon Saola barrelled into southern Guangdong province over the weekend, killing at least one person and leaving a trail of destruction and flooding in many areas of nearby Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau.
Last month, northern and northeasten China saw heavy flooding caused by Typhoons Doksuri and Khanun which brought the capital Beijing its heaviest recorded rainfall in 140 years.
On Tuesday, the state broadcaster said the government would allocate 200 million yuan ($27.43 million) in disaster relief funds to support provinces hit by typhoons and floods.
Over the weekend, the finance ministry said it had earmarked 1 billion yuan as disaster relief funds for floods, droughts or crop pests, state media Xinhua said.
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