Typhoon Maria barrels into China after pounding Taiwan

Taiwan spared as Typhoon Maria weakens

Dramatic video footage of the typhoon's destruction on Wednesday shows huge waves beating against the sea shore across Xiapu County and Lianjiang County, reaching as high as nine metres (30 feet), Xinhua News reported. However, the storm weakened as it approached the island and moved past it to the northwest. Strong winds are still expected, after some parts of the country received rain of up to 100 mm at night.

All schools, including kindergartens, in the city were closed on Wednesday due to the typhoon.

Television images showed trees felled overnight and blocking some roads in the mountains north of capital Taipei.

While official statistics did not record any fatalities, local media reports said a man fell to his death when he was checking the windows at his home.

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Taiwan is frequently hit by typhoons during the summer, but it has stepped up preparations to guard against them since Typhoon Morakot devastated the island and killed almost 700 people in 2009, mostly from landslides. Maria is the first typhoon of the season for Taiwan.

About 43,000 households in Taiwan lost power at the typhoon's peak, and the storm also affected hundreds of flights.

Typhoon Maria is wreaking havoc along China's east coast, after making landfall in Fujian Province on Wednesday morning. More than 6,800 people are on standby for rescue missions or to fix damage caused by the typhoon.

Eight people were injured as Typhoon Maria passed over northern Taiwan late Tuesday and early Wednesday, according to the latest information on the storm issued by the Central Emergency Operation Center.

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