Super Typhoon Maria Churns Along China's Coast Before Losing Strength to Become a Tropical Storm

Waves from the sea crashed into residential buildings and water sprayed into streets in Chinese coastal cities as super typhoon Maria made landfall on Wednesday morning.

The storm slowly churned against coastal communities, before pouring rain onto the city of Fuzhou in Fujian Province as it lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm, AccuWeather reported. 

Northern Fujian and southern Zhejiang provinces faced the worst of the heavy rain and winds. Peak wind gusts of 94 miles per hour were seen along some coastal communities.

Chinese cities on the country’s southern coast are expected to continue to see heavy rainfall and wind through Thursday, as the storm moves inland and weakens, meteorologists at AccuWeather predicted.

“Maria's excessive rainfall can lead to significant flooding," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said. “Mudslides are a serious concern in areas of rugged terrain.”

Aerial photos taken on Tuesday from the Chinese news agency Xinhua showed giant waves beating against a seashore wall in Wenling City, east of Zhejiang Province, as the storm came near.

It is the eighth typhoon this year to approach the Chinese coast.

In preparation for the storm, several coastal schools and businesses closed in Fuzhou on Wednesday and more than 200 trains were cancellations due to the storm, according to Xinhua news.

Before descending on China, Maria ripped through Japan’s Miyako islands on Tuesday, pouring heavy rain on the region, The Weather Channel reported.

During the afternoon local time, Maria's eye passed directly over Japan's Miyakojima Island, home to 56,000 people.

The storm also lashed Taiwan, where about 3,000 residents were ordered on Tuesday to evacuate their homes before the storm grazed over the island. Two people were injured.

Several cities in Taiwan also declared a typhoon holiday on Wednesday, closing schools and businesses, according to the Taiwan Times.

Landslides from heavy rains are a concern for residents in northern Taiwan, where about 700 people died in 2009 when a village was engulfed by a mudslide caused by downpour from Typhoon Morakot.

Taiwan’s UNI Air suspended approximately 70 domestic flights, while Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific canceled another dozen flights to and from Taiwan’s capital city Taipei, according to Agence France-Presse.

Premier William Lai cautioned residents to “remain vigilant” for the typhoon as fishermen tied up their boats and farmers hurried to harvest scallions before the storm. 

In the hours before the storm made landfall, the U.S. State Department also issued a weather advisory for American citizens in eastern China.

0711-typhoon Waves slam into the shore at Shitang Town as Typhoon Maria approaches China mainland on July 11, 2018, in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon Maria made landfall at around 9:10 a.m. Wednesday in Lianjiang County, Fujian. Getty Images

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