Sepat sweeps northwestward after killing 22 in East China

Updated: 2007-08-20 21:23

Typhoon Sepat swept northwestward into East China's Jiangxi Province on Monday, leaving a trail of chaos in which at least 22 people died in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang.

Most parts of Jiangxi suffered torrential rains and high winds of 54 kilometers per hour on Sunday and Monday. By 8:00 am Monday, the worst-hit county of Yongfeng had received 327mm of rain.

The provincial meteorological bureau sounded an alarm at 4:00 am on Monday, warning the public to take precautions against the downpour and subsequent geological disasters.

Sepat, which entered Jiangxi Province at 2:30 am, is expected to linger for 48 hours, but the meteorological bureau predicts its aftermath might last for an additional 24 hours at least.

The local government said no casualties or geological disasters had been reported.

The meteorological bureau in Central China's Hunan Province has sent 2.25 million text messages to warn the citizens of the typhoon, which is expected to affect the province on Monday night.

In Fujian Province, where Sepat landed at 2:00 am on Sunday, rainstorms continued on Monday. The ninth typhoon of the year has brought an average 200 mm of rainfall to most counties since last Friday. The worst-hit county of Jiaocheng received 490mm.

Subsequent geological disasters, including landslides and mud-rock flows, have killed nine people and left 11 missing in Fujian by 6 pm on Monday.

Sepat has caused 13 deaths in Wenzhou, a manufacturing center in the eastern Zhejiang Province, including 11 deaths from a tornado that smashed 156 houses on Saturday night.

On Sunday, a landslide triggered by downpour knocked a minibus in Wenzhou, killing one of its 19 passengers.

A peasant woman named Lin Jinxiang was found dead in the debris of her collapsed house on Sunday. She had made her way back into the house in the suburbs of Wenzhou after being evacuated ahead of the typhoon.

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