A powerful typhoon has killed 15 people in China and Taiwan just days before a second storm is expected to batter the region.

Chinese authorities say 13 people have died in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang since Typhoon Meranti made landfall early Thursday. Another 14 people are missing. Taiwanese officials have reported two dead.

A second typhoon, Malakas, is expected to hit Taiwan today.

Meranti this week lashed a vast swathe of China's seaboard, including Shanghai, with heavy rain and winds of up to 280km/h.


The typhoon made landfall in China's southeastern Fujian province, where media reports showed power lines toppled and streets submerged. Repair workers were yesterday restoring electricity to millions of residents in the provincial capital of Xiamen, according to state media.

Meanwhile, officials in Taiwanese capital Taipei have closed offices and schools in anticipation of rough weather from Malakas.

The second storm, less powerful than Meranti, is expected to lash Taipei with gusts up to 191km/h.

The most destructive categories of tropical storms to strike east Asia are becoming more intense and increasing as much as four-fold in frequency because of climate change, according to research by US-based scientists.

Since the late 1970s, typhoons making land from Vietnam and the Philippines to Korea and Japan have become 12 per cent to 15 per cent more intense.

Those hitting Southeast Asia with a category 4 or 5 strength have more than doubled in number.

- AP, news.com.au