Typhoon Megi kills seven in Taiwan, heads towards southern China

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Projected path of Megi
Image: Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Typhoon Megi passed by Taiwan devastating the island, killing seven and trapping 400 in automobiles. Megi is currently heading northwards and is expected to make landfall in Mainland China by 0600 UTC today. Megi currently has winds of 150 kph (95 mph) with gusts of 185 kph (115 mph).

According to Taiwan's Central News Agency at least 23 people were missing including nineteen passengers of a tour bus. Rescuers were searching for the missing persons, while distributing aid to stranded tourists in the mountainous northwestern region of the country.

China's Xinhua news agency reported that helicopter were able to evacuate 70 people from the country, it was reported that the driver and a passenger from a second tour bus were also listed as missing.

According to a spokesman from Taiwan's National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission, Cai Min, soldiers were deployed to rescue 200 stranded Chinese tourists, more than 24 tourists had been rescued as of Friday.

A satellite image of Megi
Image: NASA.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has advised that Megi could make landfall in South China as early as 0600 UTC today. Although Megi is expected to make landfall quite a distance from Hong Kong, local officials are reminding residents to remain alert. The government has deployed teams to Hong Kong to mount sandbags, clear drains and trim trees, temporary shelters have also been opened.

Domestic and international flights in Southern China have been cancelled as strong gales are moving in ahead of Megi. About 130,000 fishing boats in the Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan provinces have been called back to port and about 150,000 in Fujian have fled to safety. The highest warning level has been issued for coastal ares China in anticipation of Megi. The warning gives officials the power to evacuate areas six hours before impact, close schools, airports and recall vessels in danger back to port.


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