Chinese authorities said Saturday that the death toll from Typhoon Meranti jumped to 28 in two hard-hit eastern provinces and warned that another typhoon — Malakas — is bearing down on the same region after an expected landfall Saturday evening in Taiwan.
Typhoon Meranti, the strongest storm to hit China this year, lashed a wide swath of the country's coastal areas, including Shanghai, with heavy rain and winds of up to 175 miles per hour. It struck Xiamen City, in Fujian province Thursday morning.
Fujian flood control authorities said 18 people died and 11 others were missing and 10 died and four were missing in neighboring Zhejiang province, the official Xinhua news agency reported. More than 900 houses collapsed in Zhejiang alone, as high winds and heavy rain slammed the area.
The news agency said Meranti paralyzed several cities in southern Fujian province, including Xiamen, Quanzhou, and Zhangzhou.
Meanwhile, Taiwan, as well as the two mainland provinces, braced for the arrival of Malakas, which was expected to hit late Saturday, bringing gusts of up to 120 mph to Taipei, Chinese Central Television reported.
The northeastern tip of Taiwan is expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon's strength, CCTV reported, while the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces on the mainland are expected to be hit by heavy rain.
China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned ships to stay clear of coastal regions in Fujian, Guangdong, and Shanghai. China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also activated an emergency response to cope with Malakas.
By Saturday morning, Taiwan local time, 2,658 people had been evacuated from New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Yilan County and Hualien County, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center, the Central News Agency reported.
Taiwan Railways Administration suspended all services on its Pingxi Line and Shen'ao Line on Saturday, as well as services on its North-Link Line and Yilan Line around the northeastern part of Taiwan.
Malakas will likely decrease in power as it moves northeast from Taiwan and China but intensify again into the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane before reaching Yonaguni on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather.com.