China Evacuates 300,000 as Typhoon Soulik Makes Landfall

China evacuated more than 300,000 people as Typhoon Soulik reached Fujian province, after the storm lashed Taiwan leaving one person dead, knocking out power to a million homes and disrupting flights.

Soulik, carrying winds as fast as 118 kilometers (73 miles) per hour, made landfall on Huangqi Peninsula in east China’s Fujian province at 4 p.m., China’s National Meteorological Center said in a statement on its website. Authorities in Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces should closely monitor reservoirs and dams, as well as prevent possible floods and mudslides, according to the statement.

Soulik crossed northern Taiwan overnight, leaving one person dead and 31 others injured by flying debris, according to the island’s Central Emergency Operation Center. About 250,000 homes were still without power this afternoon, after more than 1 million lost electricity, Taiwan Power Co. said in a statement today.

Airlines had resumed normal operations by 4 p.m. today, according to a statement on Taoyuan International Airport Corp. Ltd.’s website. At least 526 flights to and from Taiwan were canceled or delayed, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said in a statement.

As of noon, 304,000 people have been evacuated including those working in fisheries or living in low-lying areas, according to a statement on the website of Fujian province’s Department of Water Resources.

Flights Canceled

Since last night, 142 flights have been canceled at Changle International Airport in Fuzhou, the provincial capital, Xinhua News Agency reported. About 5,500 soldiers have been sent to 18 counties for rescue operations, according to the report, which didn’t specify whether there were injuries.

The National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center lowered brought down a storm tide alert to blue, the lowest of four levels, from yellow, the second-lowest, and renewed the highest level alert for sea waves, Xinhua reported.

Soulik is expected to spur sea waves as high as 6 to 9 meters (20 to 30 feet) in the southern part of the East China Sea, waters near the Diaoyu Islands and the Taiwan Strait tonight. Waters near Zhejiang and the northern part of Fujian may see waves of 4 meters to 6.5 meters, according to the report.

Soulik is the seventh typhoon to hit China this year, according to the meteorological center’s website.

— With assistance by Daryl Loo

(Updates with airlines in Taiwan resuming normal operations in third paragraph.)
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