© Reuters. An aerial view shows flooded streets on the outskirts of Fuzhou, after heavy rains brought by typhoon Haikui in Fujian province, China September 5, 2023. cnsphoto via REUTERS
By Liz Lee
BEIJING (Reuters) -Intense rain from the remnants of Typhoon Haikui hit southeast China on Wednesday, bringing floods that forced some cities to suspend subway services, shut schools and move tens of thousands of people to safety.
Xiamen, a port city in Fujian province, has been pounded by rain for three days, breaking a record for the longest heavy rain in the city since such records began in 1953, with cumulative precipitation of 336.4 mm as of 9 a.m. (0100 GMT).
The rain also shattered 12-year-old records in the provincial capital of Fuzhou, weather officials said, prompting warnings that 49 reservoirs had exceeded flood limits.
More than 36,000 people were evacuated from homes, power and communications links were damaged and nearly 4,195 hectares (10,366 acres) of farmland inundated, causing losses the state broadcaster said stood at 552.1 million yuan ($75 million).
Floodwaters gushed down streets in Fuzhou and the city of Fuqing to its south, knocking over motorcycles and trash bins and swamping cars, video images on social media showed.
Media reports showed marooned shops and apartments as well as landslides.
Fuzhou received up to 554 mm (1.8 feet) of cumulative rain on Tuesday, the national forecaster said, for an hourly record of close to 150 mm (0.5 ft).
That surpassed the volume brought by Typhoon Doksuri in late July, which ripped through Fujian causing floods and losses of $2 billion, state media said.
Fuzhou closed subway lines and suspended train services, while schools shut for a second day.
The floods have exposed the fragility of urban drainage and other infrastructure, the state-backed The Paper quoted a provincial official, Chen Yunong, as saying.
Waterlogging in both old cities and new urban areas had to be tackled, Chen said.
Putian and Quanzhou were among six cities elsewhere in Fujian flagged as being at risk of flash floods and landslides. The provincial government told authorities to prepare to move people out of danger.
The rains are expected to last until Friday in central and southern parts of the province, where Typhoon Haikui hit land early on Tuesday, before losing strength and being downgraded to a tropical storm.