Taiwan and China to face more flooding as Tropical Storm Haitang follows Nesat
July 30, 2017; 11:41 AM
After Nesat moved onshore and left more than 100 people injured, Haitang will exacerbate the risk for flooding and mudslides in Taiwan and eastern China through midweek.
After barreling across northern Taiwan and leaving more than 100 people injured, Nesat made landfall in southeastern China early on Sunday, local time.
Nesat has since weakened to a tropical rainstorm. However, residents of both southeastern China and Taiwan cannot let their guard down and start cleanup operations.
Tropical Storm Haitang is following close behind Nesat and unleashing more torrential rain.
Haitang will add to the already extreme rainfall in the mountains of Taiwan, pushing totals past 750 mm (30 inches) in the southern mountains. Excessive rainfall since Saturday in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan has topped 980 mm (38 inches) inches) in Dahanshan.
Lives and property will be threatened as already swollen and raging rivers may be pushed further out of their banks, while the tremendous rainfall may trigger new mudslides.
Damaged bridges and road closures may cut off some mountainous communities from receiving aid or supplies in the wake of the storms.
Haitang will not strengthen above a tropical storm, keeping wind damage to a localized level. However, weakened trees will be more susceptible to being downed by even marginally strong winds due to the oversaturated soil.
Farther north, Taipei should escape Haitang's heaviest rainfall after being blasted by Nesat's powerful winds.
Flooding will remain a concern as Haitang merges with Nesat over southeastern China on Monday, while the risk for any damaging winds continues to lessen.
"Flooding rain will actually be possible over a prolonged period of time in eastern China," AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.
Locally flooding rain will gradually spread northward to Anhui Province on Tuesday and then Shandong, western Jiangsu and eastern Henan provinces at midweek. Isolated tornadoes and severe thunderstorms cannot be ruled out.
A cold front in northeast China will be the focal point for locally flooding downpours around the Beijing and Tianjin areas later this week.
— Focus Taiwan (@Focus_Taiwan) July 29, 2017
Prior to reaching southeastern China, Nesat was a typhoon with its strength equal to that of a Category 1 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins when it made landfall in Yilan County on Saturday evening.
Taipei endured a wind gust of 150 km/h (93 mph) on Saturday night after Nesat made landfall.
At least 111 people sustained injuries across Taiwan, the Associated Press reported. All but two of the injuries were minor.
Most of the injuries were due to falling objects or in car accidents, according to AFP and Reuters.
Offices and schools were closed ahead of the storm and remained closed into Sunday. Power outages peaked at nearly a half a million households.
In Pingtung County, crews had to rescue around 200 residents.
Nearly 200 schools across Taiwan were damaged by Nesat, according to Focus Taiwan, with damages estimated at $17.8 million NT ($587,000 USD).
More than 10,000 people were evacuated ahead of Nesat in Taiwan; nearly 70,000 sought shelter in China's Fujian Province.
Elsewhere in the western Pacific Ocean, Super Typhoon Noru will continue to meander well south of Japan through most of this week.
Those with shipping interests will face the greatest hazards as Noru stirs dangerous seas in its vicinity.
Swells propagating away from Noru will cause seas to gradually build and become dangerous for swimmers along the southern coast of Japan as the week progresses.
Residents of Japan will have to closely monitor the progress of Noru as it may take a turn toward the country around next weekend.