Coastal Chinese city shut down schools and offices for Typhoon Doksuri

BEIJING (AP): The coastal Chinese city of Shantou on Thursday joined parts of Taiwan in shutting down schools and offices as Typhoon Doksuri brings heavy wind and rain to the Taiwan Strait and surrounding areas.

Doksuri weakened further on Thursday, with sustained winds of 155 kph (96 mph) and gusts of up to 190 kph (118 mph), according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. The typhoon’s center will not hit Taiwan’s mainland, but its outlying bands will still bring stronger winds and rains Thursday afternoon.

Shantou, which lies on the border between Guangdong and Fujian provinces, will remain largely shut through the end of Friday, the local government said on social media. Images from the area on public news broadcasts showed fishing ships tied up in port as heavy waves broke along the seawall. Apart from an occasional squall, there was no sign of heavy rain as of early Thursday afternoon, reports said.

The Taiwan Strait is one of the world’s busiest routes for international trade and the typhoon has caused major disruptions to shipping and flights.

In southern Taiwan, the port city Kaohsiung and the ancient capital Tainan announced that offices and schools will be closed Thursday. Hualien and Taitung counties along the Pacific Ocean on the island’s east coast also shuttered schools and offices. Kaohsuing also evacuated some 300 residents who lived in a mountainous part of the district, according to the semi-official Central News Agency.

The storm temporarily left tens of thousands of households without power in Kaohsiung and Tainan, although most of them have had their electricity restored as of Thursday morning, according to the Taiwan Power Company.

The storm will travel through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and make landfall in China’s Fujian province on Friday.

The typhoon swept through northern Philippine provinces with ferocious wind and rain on Wednesday, leaving at least six people dead and displacing thousands of others as it blew roofs off houses, flooded low-lying villages and triggered dozens of landslides.