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Typhoon Saomai landed in east China
Latest Updated by 2006-08-11 07:56:40
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Click to the Group Photo>>>

Strong wind overthrows a tricycle in Bacao Town of Cangnan County, east China's Zhejiang Province, Aug. 10, 2006.(Xinhua Photo) [Group Photo]

Typhoon Saomai, the eighth to hit China this year, made landfall in Cangnan County, east China's Zhejiang Province, at 5:25 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 10th), said the provincial meteorological observatory.

The eye of the typhoon had a wind velocity of 216 km per hour when it landed, said the observatory. "It is the strongest typhoonlanded in southeast China in the past 50 years," said Xi Jinping, secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.

The typhoon is lashing Cangnan with gales and rainstorms, and has already toppled more than 1,000 houses, cut 97 percent of power lines in the county and 40 percent of local communication links.

Over 80 people have been injured, according to local sources, and 20,000 hectares of rice fields had been inundated.

As of 11:00 p.m., the average precipitation in the county was above 300 millimeters. In the county's Changchan observation station, the aggregate rainfall during the past 15 hours reached 466 millimeters.

The provincial land and resources department, together with the observatory, issued a warning on Thursday, saying the majority of cities and counties in southeast Zhejiang are threatened by possible geological disasters.

Saomai also brought torrential rainstorms to the neighboring Fujian Province. Its provincial observatory predicted that the precipitation in some places of the province may surpass 150 millimeters on Friday.

The Zhejiang provincial observatory said the wind power of Saomai further weakened at 9:00 p.m. and the wind velocity of the typhoon's eye reduced to about 144 km per hour.

The eye kept moving northwestward at a speed of 20 km per hour to east China's Jiangxi Province.

The flood control department in Jiangxi said they have already run the emergent plan against the typhoon, trying to reduce, as much as possible, the losses that Saomai will possibly bring.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, who is also chief of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFCDRH), urged on Thursday governments at all levels in Saomai-hit areas to timely launch local emergency plans to fight against the disaster under the unified leadership of the State Council.

Hui stressed that the government must give top priority to safeguarding people's life and the safety of ships and reservoirs.

The SFCDRH issued a level-III warning on Thursday and has sent work teams consisting of officials from the ministries of water resources, civil affairs and finance, to Zhejiang and Fujian provinces to organize disaster relief work.

So far, about 20,000 soldiers and militiamen have been deployed on China's eastern border to boost rescue and disaster relief efforts as Typhoon Saomai hits.

Army units helped people in danger to evacuate and reinforced water control facilities to prevent floods, according to military sources stationed in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

Twelve fishermen were rescued by the frontier troops in Ningbo City in Zhejiang at 6:10 p.m. after being stranded on the sea for about one hour due to the machine malfunction.

But a press car is still stuck under a fallen telegraph pole and a torn down tree in the county of Cangnan.

The car belonged to a Youth Times magazine and voluntarily sentan injured citizen to hospital on its way to Cangnan.

Altogether four people were inside the car including the injured citizen, an official with the county government, a journalist of the magazine and a driver.

The rescue operation was hindered by the downpour.

Still in Cangnan, at least 30 farmers were trapped in the collapsed houses in the Township of Jinxiang.

The local government as well as the stationed army are rushing toward the place to perform the rescue operation.

Affected by the typhoon, neighboring Fujian Province reported two deaths and 12 others are missing.

The maritime department said the two dead were from the city of Fuding but their identities still remain unknown.

Strong wind also made two ships from Taiwan capsize at sea near the city's Shacheng Harbor, leaving eight Taiwanese missing.

Also in this area, another fishing boat from Fujian was stricken by a reef and the whereabouts of four people aboard are unknown, said the department.

At least 1.3 million people in China -- 765,486 in Zhejiang and about 571,000 in Fujian -- have been evacuated, from the path of Typhoon Saomai, which has upgraded to an extremely powerful typhoon.

More than 30 tons of bleaching chemicals, three tons of insecticide and vaccines against acute intestinal diseases and hepatitis for 30,000 people have been stored by local health authorities.

Meanwhile, provincial civil affairs departments have arranged 300,000 pieces of clothing and 100,000 cases of fast food and set aside 15 million yuan (1.9 million U.S. dollars) as relief funds.

20,000 military deployed as Saomai storms ashore

About 20,000 soldiers and paramilitaries were deployed on China's eastern border Thursday to boost rescue and disaster relief efforts as Typhoon Saomai stormed ashore. >>>Details

Moren than one million people evacuated from typhoon path in E China

At least 1.3 million people in China -- 765,486 in Zhejiang and about 571,000 in Fujian -- have been evacuated, from the path of Typhoon Saomai, which has upgraded to extremely powerful. >>>Details

East China braces for typhoon Saomai

Saomai, the eighth tropical storm to close in on China this year, was about 840 kilometres southeast of Wenzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province yesterday (Aug. 9th).

"Saomai will affect regions south of the Yangtze River and coastal areas in Fujian Province," said CMO meteorologist Xu Yinglong.

The typhoon is expected to wreak further havoc as it moves northwest after landing, but Xu said the damage will not be as severe as the destruction wreaked by Typhoon Bilis, which caused hundreds of deaths in southern China last month.

And as the typhoon nears, a weaker storm, Bopha, is closing in on the Guangdong coast.

Considering the distance between Saomai and Bopha, interaction between the two storms will not be as "mighty," meteorologists said. >>>Details

466,000 evacuated in E China as Saomai approaches

At least 466,000 people, including 266,000 in Fujian and 200,000 in Zhejiang have been evacuated as Saomai, which has grown to a powerful typhoon, is approaching the coastal areas of the two provinces in east China. >>>Details

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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