Aug 10, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Killer typhoon leaves trail of havoc and affects millions (China Daily)
Typhoon Soudelor, the biggest storm to hit China this year, was continuing to affect eastern areas on Sunday after killing 12 people in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, and six in Taiwan.
It also left five missing in Wenzhou and affected millions of people in Fujian province, according to flood control and drought relief authorities in the two areas.
In Zhejiang, an orange alert – the second-highest level – for rainstorms was issued on Sunday.
In Wencheng county, Wenzhou, 645 mm of precipitation was recorded in 24 hours, the heaviest rainfall for 100 years.
The National Meteorological Center forecast that the typhoon would move further inland and was likely to affect more areas, including Shanghai and Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.
Soudelor, named after a legendary Micronesian chief, was packing winds of up to 230 kph.
It made landfall in Taiwan on Saturday and left at least six people dead, four missing and more than 100 injured before moving on to the Chinese mainland. It made landfall in Putian, Fujian province, at 10:10 pm on Saturday.
As of 10 am on Sunday, 1.1 million people had been affected and 14,330 hectares of crops had been hit in the province, with direct economic losses of 986 million yuan ($159 million) reported.
More than 160,000 people were evacuated before the typhoon made landfall, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief authority.
In Fuzhou, the provincial capital, much of the downtown area was flooded. More than 10,000 trees had fallen and traffic stalled on flooded streets.
State Grid Fujian Electric Power Co Ltd said power to more than 2 million households was affected but had been restored to 630,000 by Sunday morning after repairs.
Three airports in the province were closed, with more than 530 flights canceled. Six expressways were also closed, and 191 high-speed train services canceled.
Fujian issued its highest typhoon alert on Saturday as Soudelor approached. Flights to Fuzhou were canceled, along with about 100 trains running through Xiamen. The airport in Quanzhou canceled flights.
Evacuees – mostly aquatic farm workers – were transferred to safe areas inland. Provincial authorities ordered all fishing boats to return to harbor by 10 am on Friday as gales were predicted later in the day.
As Soudelor moved on to neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, it was downgraded to a level-two typhoon from the previous level-three emergency-response rating.
Soudelor weakened into a tropical depression on Sunday night as it entered northern areas of Jiangxi, but would continue to endanger lives across eastern parts of the country in the first part of this week, the National Meteorological Center said.
Yan Yiqi in Hangzhou contributed to the story.
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Rescuers help a pregnant woman board a boat taking her to a hospital in Ruian, Zhejiang province. Heavy rain hit the city on Sunday. Sun Lin / for China Daily
(China Daily 08/10/2015 page1)