Hagupit lashes eastern China with flooding rain, strong winds

Maura Kelly

Typhoon Hagupit crashed into eastern China on Monday night, sending flooding rainfall, strong wind gusts and storm surge into the region before eyeing the Shanghai region.

Hagupit, which quickly developed and strengthened into a severe tropical storm in the Philippine Sea over the weekend, became a typhoon on Monday, local time, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 138 km/h (85 mph). This is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.

This satellite image captures Typhoon Hagupit approaching the eastern coast of China on Monday evening, local time. (Photo/CIRA RAMMB)

Hagupit tracked to the northwest into the East China Sea throughout the day on Monday, with the center passing just north of Taiwan. The outer rainbands that swept across the northern part of the country brought 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain and gusty winds to the area throughout the day.

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As the storm approached the China coast, officials evacuated residents in the vulnerable coastal areas in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces and recalled thousands of fishing boats, reported the Associated Press.

Hagupit maintained typhoon intensity as it made landfall near Wenzhou in Zhejiang, China, on Tuesday around 3:30 a.m., local time. At least 200,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centers in the coastal city.

Wave heights of 4.2 m (13.8 feet) were observed as Hagupit slammed into the coast.

Rainfall totals climbed to around 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) along the storms path in Zhejiang, China. Reports climbed even higher along where the center of Hagupit tracked; Rui'an reported 212 mm (8.33 inches) of rainfall, while 195 mm (7.68 inches) fell in Xianju.

Hagupit was downgraded to a severe tropical storm then a tropical storm throughout Tuesday and Tuesday night as it tracked north across eastern China.

The storm passed just west of Shanghai through Tuesday night, spreading periods of heavy rain and wind gusts around 70 mph (45 mph) to the region.

As of late Wednesday, local time, Hagupit had emerged back over water, tracking into the yellow sea as a tropical storm.

Flash flooding erupted across as much of eastern China, which had just received historical rainfall through late May and into early July, the typical wet season for the area.

Hagupit is forecast to track over the Korean Peninsula, hitting a region of the world that is also still recovering from flash flooding and mudslides during the second half of July.

Sinlaku was the first tropical system to develop last week, organizing into a tropical storm over the South China Sea. The storm brought heavy rainfall, gusty winds and rough seas to southern China, Vietnam and Loas through the weekend.

As Tropical Rainstorm Sinlaku reaches the Bay of Bengal, it is expected reorganize into a monsoon low, enhancing rainfall across northeast India through the end of the week.

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