Powerful typhoon Doksuri lashes Philippines, threatens Taiwan, China

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Members of the Philippine Coast Guard remove a fallen tree from a road following the onslaught of Typhoon Doksuri in Buguey, Cagayan province, Philippines, July 26, 2023. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS

At least one person died as powerful typhoon Doksuri lashed the coastline of the northern Philippines with gale-force winds and torrential rain on Wednesday, bursting banks of rivers and leaving thousands without electricity.

The rain bands of Doksuri pounded coastal communities, including isolated villages tucked away in tropical forests. Many people had already been pulled to safety ahead of the storm, which brought winds of up to 175 kilometres per hour (108 miles per hour).

“We’re being battered here,” Manuel Mamba, governor of the northern corn-growing Cagayan province, told Reuters.

The storm, labelled as a super typhoon by China’s Meteorological Administration, is nearly 900 km (560 miles) across and is expected to sustain strength as it continues its course towards Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

The agency has already raised its storm alert to the second-highest tier and the manufacturing hub of Guangdong province warned of the worst storm in a decade.

Throughout July, record temperatures have caused havoc across the globe, sparking wildfires in the U.S. and Mediterranean. At the other extreme, scientists say global warming will also make storms wetter, windier and more violent.

In the Philippines, at least one person drowned in the province of Rizal so far, the national disaster agency said.

More than 4,000 passengers were stranded at ports across the country after sea travel was suspended, the Philippine coast guard said.

As of 8 a.m. (0000 GMT), Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said in the past three hours the typhoon’s centre was close to hovering and at a standstill.

But China still expects its arrival early on Friday.

Doksuri would be second typhoon to make landfall in the Chinese mainland in less than two weeks after Talim slammed into Guangdong on July 17.

WARNINGS

Taiwanese authorities issued land warnings for several counties and cities in the south including the major port city of Kaohsiung.

More than 300 people were evacuated in southern and eastern Taiwan as a precaution as Doksuri was expected to bring up to 1 metre (3.3 feet) of rainfall.

Nearly 50 domestic flights and four international flights, as well as many ferry lines, were cancelled, while railway services between eastern and southern Taiwan will be suspended from Wednesday evening.

Ferry services to the Taiwanese governed islands of Kinmen and Matsu from the Chinese mainland were all halted.

Some train services linking densely populated cities such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou near China’s southern and eastern coasts were suspended.

Doksuri is expected to move northwest at a speed of 10-15 kph (6-9 mph) and enter the northeastern part of the South China Sea starting Wednesday night until Thursday morning, said China’s Meteorological Administration.

State-run Guangzhou Daily reported that it could be the strongest typhoon that has landed or seriously affected eastern Guangdong in the past 10 years.

China upgraded its emergency response from Level III to Level II, which implies an oncoming typhoon could severely affect the entire country, according to the State Council’s national emergency plan for flood control and drought relief.

The meteorological agency has already urged people to stock up on food, necessities and candles as a precautionary measure.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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