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Aug-09-2009 19:57printcomments

Over a Million Evacuated as Typhoon Morakot Strikes East China

More than 300 houses have collapsed, and 16,200 hectares of farmland were inundated. The city's airport was closed and 56 roads were cut off by rainstorms.

Typhoon damage at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province
People save cultured mudskippers at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province, August 9, 2009. Typhoon "Morakot" landed in Fujian Province Sunday afternoon.
Courtesy: gov.cn/

(FUZHOU, China ) - Typhoon Morakot slammed into Chinese provinces on the eastern coast on Sunday, causing casualties, destroying houses and inundating farmlands.

Morakot made landfall in the coastal areas of Beibi Town, Xiapu County in Fujian Province, at 4:20 p.m., packing winds up to 118.8 kilometers per hour in its eye, the province's meteorological bureau said.

The sky turned completely dark in Beibi and people caught in rainstorms staggered with flashlights on. Many trees were uprooted, some even breaking apart in strong winds.

Farmers were trying to recapture a sizeable quantity of fish flushed from mudflat aqua farms by uprising waves.

In Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, 34 domestic flights were cancelled and 20 delayed because of unfavorable weather conditions. The city also suspended most passenger bus services.

In Zhejiang Province, 155 passenger ship sailings were cancelled and more than 7,400 vessels called back from the sea as the province's maritime authority raised the typhoon alarm to a red alert, its highest level, Sunday morning.

The front of the eighth typhoon of the year had previously triggered continuous downpours and strong winds in Fujian and its neighboring Zhejiang Province before its landing, which forced the evacuation of nearly 1 million people to safety.

Five houses were destroyed as the front of the typhoon brought rainfall of 700 mm to Wenzhou City in Zhejiang just after 8:00 a.m. Sunday.

Three adults and a 4-year-old boy were buried in debris about 8.20 a.m. as the torrential rain brought five houses down.

The child later died after emergency treatment failed, the city's flood-control headquarters said.

More than 300 houses had collapsed, and 16,200 hectares of farmland were inundated. The city's airport was closed and 56 roads were cut off by rainstorms.

News release: Chinese government




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