Typhoon Doksuri and Khanun: Thousands in China flee their homes as one soaks up Beijing and the second approaches



Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Beijing after Typhoon Doksuri, one of the strongest storms in years, dumped torrential rains across China and claimed at least four lives, as forecasters warned that another hurricane-level storm was on the way.

Like much of the world, China is reeling from extreme weather events this summer. Heat waves scorched China earlier than usual this year, while records were set around the world for global temperatures, ocean heat and sea ice loss.

Doksuri rushed into the southeastern coastal province of Fujian late last week, weakening as it made its way north but bringing huge amounts of rain in at least five northern provinces of China since Saturday.

More than 31,000 people were evacuated from the Chinese capital on Sunday night, state broadcaster CCTV reported. Another half million people in Fujian have been forced to evacuate due to flooding, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua reported two deaths from the storm in Beijing on Monday, while two more deaths were recorded in northeast Liaoning province, according to CCTV.

Rainfall in Beijing could break records as nearly 40 inches of rain is expected to pour over southwestern parts of the capital and neighboring Hebei province, according to the China Meteorological Administration on Monday.

Heavy downpours are expected to continue through Tuesday, raising concerns about dangerous flooding and landslides.

On Monday, nine districts in Beijing were under a red rainstorm alert, the highest in the country’s alert mechanism, while the weather signal was downgraded to the second-highest level in other regions. At least 95 other weather warnings have been issued across the country.

The heavy downpours led to the temporary closure of several railway lines and highways in the capital, while schools also remained closed and people were urged to stay indoors.

Doksuri is the most powerful typhoon to make landfall in China and the strongest storm to hit Fujian since Typhoon Saomi in 2006, according to CNN Weather based on preliminary information. The closest and most powerful storm to pass near Beijing was Rita in 1972.

Before hitting Fujian, it had killed at least 39 people in the Philippines and whipped parts of southern Taiwan.

The rains flooded large swaths of farmland and homes in Fujian, causing nearly $60 million (428 million yuan) in direct economic losses, Xinhua reported. More than 6,333 hectares of farmland in Fujian was damaged and more than 151 hectares suffered total crop loss, state media said.

Typhoon Doksuri caused flash floods in Zaozhuang City, north China's Shandong Province on July 30, 2023.

And there is little relief on the horizon. Even as Doksuri declines, authorities are preparing for the arrival of Khanun, the sixth typhoon expected to hit China this year.

Forecasters expect storm surges to hit coastal areas of eastern Zhejiang province from Monday to Thursday as Typhoon Khanun approaches, prompting local authorities to activate the emergency response level on Monday. lower on four levels, Xinhua reported.

Khanun is strengthening in the Pacific Ocean and has been upgraded to an equivalent Category 3 typhoon by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It is expected to close in on the islands of Okinawa, south of Japan, over the next two days and begin a slow exploration through the East China Sea.

More than 200 domestic flights to and from Naha, Miyako and Ishigaki islands in Okinawa were canceled from Monday to Wednesday, affecting nearly 30,000 passengers.

Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent, is dealing with the deadly effects of extreme summer weather, as countries experience scorching heat waves and record-breaking monsoon rains.

While most of northeast China is inundated with rainfall, the neighboring Korean peninsula is suffering from deadly heat waves.

At least 10 people have died of heat-related illnesses as South Korea swelters under a heat wave that has brought its highest temperatures so far this year to parts of the country, according to data released by Sunday. Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). ).

Torrential rains in South Korea just two weeks ago killed at least 41 people in landslides and flash floods, including at least 13 dead in a flooded underpass that trapped vehicles in the deluge .

This weekend, a total of 1,015 people suffered from heat-related illnesses, which the KDCA defines as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope and heat oedema.

More than a quarter of those affected by the heat were aged 65 and over, while around 20% were between 50 and 59 years old.

More than a third of the cases were reported by people working outdoors and around 14% were reported on farmland, he added.

Since late July, heat wave warnings have spread to most of the country with temperatures soaring over the weekend to between 33 and 39 degrees Celsius (between about 91 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit).

On Saturday, a number of cities reported their highest daily temperatures so far this year. Gyeongju city saw temperatures reach 36.8 degrees Celsius (98.24 Fahrenheit) and Jeongseon County saw temperatures reach 36.1 degrees Celsius (96.98 Fahrenheit), according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Seoul’s affluent Gangnam district saw temperatures reach 35.7 degrees Celsius (about 96.2 degrees Fahrenheit), while North Gyeongsang province saw temperatures reach 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.58 degrees Fahrenheit ).

A heat wave warning remains in effect Monday, signaling daily high temperatures are expected to be 35 degrees Celsius or higher for more than two consecutive days.

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