Tropical Cyclone “Mekkhala” brings powerful winds and heavy rains as it makes landfall in Fujian, China

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Tropical Cyclone "Mekkhala" made landfall at around 23:30 UTC on August 10, 2020 (07:30 LT on August 11) in Zhangpu County, China's Fujian Province, bringing strong winds of 119 km/h (74 mph).

The storm's center was located inland over the Zhangpu area as a typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h (81 mph).

Billboards, trees, and fences were blown down by strong winds. Firefighters began clearing operations on the streets of Xiamen after the worst of the storm has passed.

Videos uploaded on social media show gales toppling cars, power lines, and some walls. No injuries were reported.

The China Meteorological Agency has issued a Level III emergency response for the severe weather. 

Over the next 24 hours, heavy rainfall is forecast over Fujian, eastern Jiangxi, eastern Anhui, and western Jiangsu, as the storm continues to move inland, weakening into a tropical depression. 

According to the final update issued by the Joint Typhoon Weather Center (JTWC), at 11:00 UTC (19:00 LT) on Tuesday, Mekkhala was located approximately 400 km (249 miles) west-southwest of Taipei, Taiwan, and has tracked north-northwestward at 24 km/h (15 mph) over the past six hours.

"The system is forecast to continue tracking northward while weakening, fully dissipating overland," JTWC wrote, noting that the weather system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.  

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Image credit: JTWC

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Acquired 23:30 UTC on August 10.

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