A typhoon slammed into southeastern China today with powerful winds and heavy rains that killed two people, cut power, canceled flights, and suspended train services. Typhoon Fitow struck Fuding, in Fujian province, with winds of up to 94mph in the early morning hours, then slowed before weakening to a tropical storm, the National Meteorological Center said. More than half a million people had been evacuated and fishing boats were called back to shore while authorities issued a red alert—the highest warning—yesterday as the typhoon approached.
The typhoon cut power in towns and counties in Zhejiang province while high-speed rail services in the region were suspended. At least 27 flights out of Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang were canceled yesterday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Xinhua said two people were killed in Wenzhou, including a 55-year-old man who was blown off a hill while heading out to help rescue a stranded fisherman. Before striking China, Fitow skirted the northern coast of Taiwan, causing many flight disruptions and dumping large quantities of rain on the island, but resulting in only minimal damage and no casualties. (Read more typhoon stories.)