JINAN -- At least three people were killed and seven more are still missing
after tidal waves struck the coast of northern and eastern China over the last
Powerful winds measuring up to 144.7 km per hour whipped up high waves which
crashed into downtown areas of Weihai, a port city on the east China coast on
Sunday and Monday, said the local fire and safety bureau.
The Yuanyao Dock near Sunjiatuan in Weihai collapsed during the onslaught of
the surging tidal waves. One fisherman working just offshore and a worker on a
boat moored at Yuanyao Dock drowned. One firefighter died in hospital after
being injured in the carnage.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, a taxi with two passengers became trapped by the
waves on its way to a dock in northern Weihai.
Fearing they would be washed out to sea, the taxi driver called the local
fire control headquarters in Weihai. Eight fire fighters rushed to the site
where the cab was stranded and dragged the three people out the cab, but were
hit by further waves.
One fire fighter, the taxi driver and one passenger are now missing. Seven
people, including six fire fighters and the other taxi passenger, are all in
hospital. However, some workers were on boats near the dock when the new round
of waves hit and their fate is currently unknown.
The tidal waves, the first since 1969, also destroyed greenhouses, ponds for
breeding aquatic products, houses and utilities in the city, with the damage
valued at more than 900 million yuan (about US$112.5 million).
Information from Hebei Provincial Meteorological Department said areas along
the Bohai Rim in north China's Hebei Province were also hit by the worst tidal
wave in 39 years over the weekend.
The waves did not cause any fatalities, but destroyed gas and power supplies
in Cangzhou, Tangshan, Qinhuangdao and Tianjin, as well as offshore facilities
for breeding aquatic products on the Bohai Sea.