Typhoon Mekkhala makes landfall in China's Fujian

Typhoon Mekkhala, the sixth this year, made landfall at around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in Zhangpu County, east China's Fujian Province, bringing gales of up to 33 meters per second near its eye, according to local meteorological authorities.

The gales and heavy rains have disrupted local traffic. Some trains have been ordered to stop services in the province. Gaoqi airport in the coastal city of Xiamen canceled 51 outbound flights on Monday and 38 flights on Tuesday morning.

The Xiamen flood control office said that more than 5,600 fishing ships had returned to ports and over 3,200 people had been evacuated to land.

Passenger ferries were ordered to suspend services in affected areas, and tourist attractions and construction sites were ordered to close.

China's national observatory on Monday issued a yellow alert for Typhoon Mekkhala, which will bring gales to the country's eastern and southern coastal regions. China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe weather, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Meteorological authorities forecast that the typhoon will move northwestward and start to weaken after the landfall. On Tuesday, central and southern Fujian will experience downpours, with some areas seeing up to 200 mm of rainfall.

Mekkhala was the second typhoon that landed in coastal areas of east China over the past week. Last Tuesday, Hagupit, the fourth typhoon of this year, landed in east China's Zhejiang Province, packing winds of 38 meters per second near its center.

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Free Press Journal