Typhoon Meranti kills seven in China, Malakas to hit Taiwan and Japan

Super Typhoon Meranti has left seven people dead and another nine missing in China's eastern Fujian province, officials said Friday. 

Before weakening to a tropical storm on Friday, Meranti brought "extraordinary rainstorms" to Fujian and forced at least 331,000 people to relocate, according to Xinhua state news agency. 

It also destroyed 1,600 houses and damaged 22,200 hectares of crops with direct economic losses at an estimated 1.7 billion yuan (249 million dollars), Xinhua said. 

The typhoon hit as China was still recovering from a summer of unusually severe flooding, hail and landslides that had ravaged areas all over the country since June.  

Meanwhile, Taiwan on Friday morning issued a landfall warning for Typhoon Malakas, which is expected to bring strong winds to the eastern and northern parts of the country later on Friday and Saturday.

The typhoon is likely to sweep north off the eastern coast of Taiwan before turning northeast toward Japan, the state-run Central News Agency quoted the Central Weather Bureau as saying.

The eye of the storm was located about 470 kilometers to the southeast of Taiwan and was moving northwest at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour, according to the bureau.

"Residents in eastern Taiwan should stay alert to strong winds and heavy rain. Typhoon Malakas is possibly getting stronger," Bureau forecaster Wu Wan-hua told a news conference Friday.

As of Friday morning, Malakas had reached wind speeds of up to 50 metres per second, according to the bureau.

The Japan Meteorological Agency is also warning of strong winds andhigh waves around islands in the southern Japanese archipelago,saying the typhoon could produce waves of up to 11 metres in theregion.

The agency expected the typhoon to be around 60 kilometres south ofYonaguni Island at 9 am Saturday.

Malakas is heading to Taiwan only two days after Super Typhoon Meranti caused destruction in large parts of the island, killing one, injuring dozens and leaving nearly a million people without power.

Last update: Fri, 16/09/2016 - 12:00

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