HANGZHOU -- 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, said
the provincial meteorological observatory.
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.
Clouds gather over Fuzhou, east China's Fujian
province August 10, 2006 as Saomai, the strongest typhoon in 40 years, is
to land later in the day. [Xinhua]
Over 80 people have been injured, according to local sources, and 20,000
hectares of rice fields had been inundated. 30 millimeters of rain fell in the
space of just one hour.
Affected by the super typhoon, the 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 remained unknown.
Strong wind also made two ships from Taiwan capsize on the sea near the
city's Shacheng Harbor, leaving altogether eight Taiwanese missing.
Also in this area, another fishing boat from Fujian was reported having
stricken a reef and the whereabouts of four people aboard are unknown, said the
At least 1.33 million people in China -- 760,000 in Zhejiang and about
571,000 in Fujian -- have been evacuated, from the path of Typhoon Saomai, which
has upgraded to extremely powerful.
The eye of the typhoon had a wind velocity of 216 km per hour when it landed,
said the observatory. "It is the strongest typhoon landed in southeast China in
the last 50 years," said Xi Jinping, Communist Party secretary of Zhejiang
Li Yuzhu, head of the Zhejiang provincial observatory, said Wednesday,
"Saomai has outpaced forecasts and outrun the powerful Typhoon Rananim that
claimed 164 lives in Zhejiang in August 2004."