Typhoon Maria wreaks havoc along China's east coast

CWB projection of Typhoon Maria's path

CWB projection of Typhoon Maria's path

The center quoted Ministry of the Interior data as reporting that seven males and one female, majority in Taipei, suffered minor injuries after falling off their motorbikes or bicycles, or from falling branches.

Maria made landfall in east China's Fujian province later Wednesday morning, Xinhua reported. Local maritime affairs authorities said that more than 850 ships had returned to Xiamen port.

Maria was expected to approach the northern coast early on Wednesday as it moves in a west-northwesterly direction at 30 kph (19 mph), weather officials said.

At least two fishermen were left stranded in a boat at about 20 metres (65 feet) away from shore in Lianjiang county and had to be rescued by a team of seven firefighters amid the strong winds, according to Fujian fire department. More than 6,800 people are on standby for rescue missions or to fix damage caused by the typhoon.

In embattled Taiwan, two people were hit by falling tree limbs in capital Taipei and 3,430 people have been evacuated from their homes in nine cities by Wednesday morning.

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

Local governments in most part of northern Taiwan plan to close offices and schools on Wednesday, but financial markets will remain open, authorities announced late on Tuesday.

Weather warnings were also issued in Japan's southernmost region on Wednesday as the storm passed through Okinawa, but no major damage was reported.

Typhoons normally hit Taiwan, China, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam from June through November each year.