CHINA / Regional

Saomai lands in E. China, 2 dead
Updated: 2006-08-10 13:29

In Wenzhou alone, 42 people from nine villages were killed and five were missing in a landslide caused by Rananim.

In the adjacent Fujian Province, more than 36,000 vessels have returned to harbor and outdoor activities in all 26,800 schools in the province have been suspended, as Saomai approaches with Bopha, forecast to be the ninth tropical storm to hit China this year, close behind.

However, the local observatory said Bopha had weakened to a low pressure at around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday and would affect Fujian to a lesser degree.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Airport Authority announced that six Hong Kong-Taiwan flights had been cancelled and 11 delayed by 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, as Saomei approached Taiwan.

Taiwan meteorological departments said Saomai was about 180 km off Keelung by 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the State Disaster Relief Commission instructed coastal regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi to prepare for Saomai and Bopha.

Civil affairs bueaux were put on 24-hour alert and provincial-level authorities were ordered to report damage four hours after the typhoon made landfall.

Warehouses for disaster-relief goods and materials allocated by the central government were to be prepared, and railway emergency mechanism was triggered to ensure safe transport of essential materials.

Zhejiang provincial government has ordered factories, schools and markets to suspend operations and outdoor activities to be minimized.

People living between the primary and secondary seawalls should be evacuated to safe areas, and those in unstable homes, sheds and low-lying areas should move to safer structures.

Rescue teams from power supply, transport, telecommunications and medical service sectors were put on stand-by. Police were urged to maintain social security.

The provincial meteorological authorities also warned of possible typhoon-incurred landslides, collapse, mud-rock flows and mountain torrents.

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