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Dual typhoons lash coastal regions in east China

English.news.cn   2012-08-03 12:07:39            

Fishemen get on the fishing vessel ready for going out to sea after Typhoon Saola landed in Luoyuan Harbor, southeast China's Fujian Province, Aug. 3, 2012. Typhoon Saola made its landfall on coastal areas in Qinyu Town early Friday. The typhoon's center will continue to move northwest with the strength decreased.(Xinhua/Lin Shanchuan)

FUZHOU, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gales and rainstorms lashed coastal regions in east China when two typhoons made landfall in less than 10 hours from Thursday to Friday morning, forcing over 300,000 people to evacuate.

Strong tropical storm Saola, weakening from a typhoon, made landfall in Fuding city of southeastern province of Fujian at 6:50 a.m. Friday, packing winds of 25 meters per second near its center, according to Fujian Provincial Meteorological Station.

It is expected to move northwestward at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour, bringing heavy rains to the northern part of Fujian and inland province of Jiangxi later Friday, the station said.

As of 6 a.m. Friday, 306,000 residents in Fujian had been relocated to safe places, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The station said local governments should prepare for storm-triggered natural disasters such as floods, mudslides and landslips.

Saola previously made landfall at 3 a.m. Thursday in Hualien, Taiwan, bringing heavy rains and forcing most schools and offices on the island to close.

As Saola was pounding the southeastern coast, Damrey, the 10th typhoon of the year, made landfall near Xiangshui county in east China's Jiangsu province around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

The storm brought torrential rain to Jiangsu and the southern coastal areas of Shandong province early Friday morning, with the highest rainfall reaching 174 mm in Rizhao city of Shandong, local meteorological authorities said.

As of early Friday morning, the storm left one dead, a total of 550,000 people affected, and 23,723 houses damaged in Rizhao with the direct economic losses totaling 530 million yuan (83.1 million U.S. dollars). It also forced the relocation of 26,300 residents, according to Rizhao's civil affairs bureau.

It is moving northwestward at a speed of 25 km per hour. Strong winds and rainstorms from the typhoon have lashed the cities of Linyi, Rizhao, Qingdao and Weifang.

Shandong province relocated 168,000 people to safe places and ordered more than 40,000 ships to return to harbor as of early Friday morning, the provincial department of civil affairs said.

Twenty-nine flights were canceled at the Qingdao Liuting International Airport Thursday night. However, no flights were affected Friday morning, the airport said.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, at least four trains on a railway from the city of Yanzhou to Rizhao in Shandong were delayed as a result of the storm.

It is rare to see two typhoons making landfall in China successively within 24 hours, said Zhang Chang'an, deputy director of the typhoon and marine meteorology center of the China Meteorological Administration.

This is only the second time that China has braced for dual typhoons at almost the same time since 1949. In 2006, Typhoon Bopha and Typhoon Saomai hit the country successively, causing severe losses, according to Zhang.

"It costs considerable manpower and resources to tackle two typhoons," Zhang said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday urged local governments to make full preparations for the approaching typhoons, so as to ensure safety of both the residents and properties.

Wen also asked local authorities to closely monitor the typhoons, their effects on the situation of major rivers, and publicize relevant information in a timely manner.

As of 8 a.m Friday, Saola and Damrey had forced the evacuation of about 204,000 residents in Zhejiang, 168,000 in Shangdong, and 89,000 in Jiangsu, according to the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

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Editor: Yang Lina
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