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Typhoon Megi kills one in China after Taiwan destruction
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Sept 28, 2016

Tropical Storm Matthew forms in the Atlantic
Miami (AFP) Sept 28, 2016 - Tropical Storm Matthew formed in the Atlantic over the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday and threatened to become a hurricane by Friday, US forecasters said.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Guadeloupe and Martinique, as well as Barbados, Dominica, St Vincent, Grenada and St Lucia.

The tropical storm was located about 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of St Lucia, and was moving westward with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers (60 miles) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

"On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move through the Windward Islands during the next couple of hours, and move over the eastern Caribbean Sea through Friday," the center said.

Through Thursday, the storm was expected to dump four to eight inches (10-20 centimeters) of rain across the Windward Islands and southern portions of the Leeward Islands, raising a threat of flash floods and mud slides.

The Atlantic hurricane season normally runs from June 1 to November 30, although this year the first hurricane occurred in January, a rarity.

Typhoon Megi smashed into the Chinese mainland Wednesday morning, killing one person, after leaving a trail of destruction and four people dead in Taiwan.

More than 500 people were hurt when the storm raked across the island, including eight Japanese tourists whose bus was blown over. One remains in a critical condition.

Megi hit China with winds of around 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour, dumping heavy rain, dropping more than 300 mm of precipitation in several areas, according to the official Xinhua news service.

Local media reports from the coastal province of Fujian said one man died after a flash flood tore through his home.

Images on the state broadcaster CCTV showed parked cars on the streets of the coastal city of Xiamen submerged up to their windshields in floodwaters.

Schools were shuttered across the province and train services cancelled, Xinhua reported.

The main damage from the storm was in Taiwan, where schools and offices were shut for a second day after Megi left roads blocked by landslides and homes flooded.

The four deaths on the island included a man killed by falling scaffolding and a 17-year-old boy who drowned when his boat overturned.

Around 4,300 people remained in temporary shelters with more than 14,800 evacuated from their homes, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Centre.

At its peak, Megi knocked out power for close to 3.8 million households, the second worst on record after the outage caused by Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015.

A million households were still without power on Wednesday.

"Fallen trees and signboards brought down many power lines and electrical poles, leading to severe power outages across the island," Taiwan Power Company said.

Authorities were rushing to clear blocked roads Wednesday, including those leading to mountainous villages in the popular hot springs town of Wulai.

Wulai, one of the areas worst hit by Soudelor, had evacuated 200 residents ahead of the storm.

"The river swelled and flooded the old street, damaging basements of some homes," Shen Hui-kang, a spokesman at Wulai's district office, told AFP.

Mountainous areas across Taiwan have been lashed by torrential rains, with some parts of northeast Yilan county getting 1.3 metres (51 inches) since Monday.

Nearly 300 flights were either cancelled or delayed Wednesday and trains were still halted. They are set to resume later in the day.

Megi hit as parts of the island were still recovering from Typhoon Meranti earlier this month, the strongest storm on the island for 21 years.

Meranti, which left one dead in Taiwan before killing another 28 as it moved to eastern China, was followed closely by the smaller Typhoon Malakas.

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Previous Report
Taiwan shuts down as Typhoon Megi strikes
Taipei (AFP) Sept 27, 2016
Taiwan went into shutdown Tuesday as the island faces its third typhoon in two weeks, with thousands evacuated, schools and offices closed across the island and hundreds of flights disrupted. Typhoon Megi is expected to make landfall in eastern Taiwan later Tuesday but is already bringing widespread violent winds and torrential rain as it nears the island. More than 5,000 people have bee ... read more

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