Floods from Typhoon Haikui Disrupt Transport and Force Evacuations in China

Typhoon Haikui, which made landfall in Zhejiang province on Monday, September 4, 2023, has caused widespread flooding and disruption in the coastal regions of China as it weakened to a tropical storm and moved inland.

The storm brought up to two feet of rainfall to some areas of Fujian and Guangdong provinces, breaking 12-year-old records in Fuzhou city, the provincial capital of Fujian. The heavy rain triggered official warnings that 49 reservoirs had exceeded the flood limit levels and posed a risk of flash floods and landslides.

Fuzhou closed subway lines and suspended trains while schools were shut for a second day. More than 36,000 people were evacuated from their homes as the water level rose to dangerous heights. Elsewhere in Fujian, six other cities including Putian and Quanzhou were also affected by the storm.

The precipitation was heavier than the impact of Typhoon Doksuri, which ripped through Fujian in late July causing floods and US$2 billion in direct economic losses. Typhoon Haikui also damaged crops, houses, roads and power lines in Zhejiang province, where it first made landfall.

In Yongtai county, high waters swept a fire truck into a river, leaving five crew members missing. Rescuers were “doing all they can” to find the five still unaccounted for. The local authorities have launched an emergency response plan and allocated funds for disaster relief.

Typhoon Haikui is expected to weaken further as it moves northwestward and dissipate over the next few days. However, the meteorological department has warned that more rain is expected in the affected regions and urged people to stay alert and take precautions.