Super typhoon lashes China

FUZHOU — Maria, the eighth typhoon this year, made landfall at around 9:10 a.m. Wednesday in Lianjiang County, east China’s Fujian Province, bringing gales of up to 42 meters per second at its eye, according to local meteorological authorities.

The China Meteorological Administration has issued its first red alert of the year for the super typhoon on Tuesday morning. A red alert is the highest in China’s four-tier alert system for severe weather.

Maria is packing winds of up to 216 kilometers per hour. After Maria formed on July 4 in the Pacific Ocean, it strengthened to super typhoon status within 33 hours, significantly faster than average, according to Qian Qifeng, senior engineer at the National Meteorological Center.

Qian said the storm is moving fast, at about 30 km/h, bringing heavy rainfall in southeastern Zhejiang province, central and northern Fujian province and central Jiangxi province.

“The public in the affected areas should stay indoors all the time because it could turn from mild weather to torrents of rain and intense winds in a short span of one to two hours,” Qian said.

Maria is expected to arrive in Jiangxi province on Wednesday evening and gradually weaken to a tropical depression at around 8 am on Thursday.

The Sichuan flood control authority launched a Level III emergency response to flooding on Monday evening. The last time a flood control order of this level was activated in Sichuan province was July 2013, when major floods left 58 people dead and another 175 missing. China Daily/Xinhua

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