BEIJING (Reuters): Rain began to soak northern China on Saturday as Typhoon Doksuri, one of the strongest storms to hit the country in years, rolled toward Beijing after pummelling the Philippines and Taiwan, and lashing China's coast.
A broad area encompassing the capital faces medium to high risk of rainstorm disasters over the coming three days, China's national forecaster said.
"Doksuri's intensity continues to weaken but the impact is far from over," the China Meteorological Administration said, warning the public to be vigilant and avoid high-risk areas in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where localised rainfall could reach 600 mm (two feet).
Beijing authorities suspended indoor and outdoor sports events and upgraded their flood control response.
Doksuri is the most powerful typhoon to hit China this year and the second-strongest to hit the southeastern province of Fujian since Typhoon Meranti in 2016. It forced the closure of schools and businesses and the evacuation of workers from offshore oil and gas fields, state media said.
Moving northwest and deeper inland, the storm was centred on Jiujiang city in the southern province of Jiangxi and losing strength early on Saturday. It was forecast to move into Anhui province, generating winds of 30 kph (20 miles per hour) as it weakens.
The central province of Henan and Shandong in the east will experience heavy rainfall, the forecaster said, warning of mountain torrents, geological disasters and waterlogging.
Doksuri made landfall on Friday, downing power lines and uprooting trees, affecting more than 724,600 people and causing over $7.3 million in direct economic losses, media reported.
In Doksuri's wake in coastal Fujian, social media posts showed emergency workers clearing fallen trees and landslides, and people wading in thigh-high flood waters.
Fuzhou city suspended metro services on Saturday morning as subway stations remained waterlogged. The city's observatory reported a record daily precipitation of 256.6 mm (10.10 inches).
Before hitting China, Doksuri roared through Taiwan and the northern Philippines, where rain and strong winds that led to the capsize of a ferry in which at least 25 people died. - Reuters