Typhoon hits East China, killing 14
HANGZHOU: At least 14 people were killed and nine others are still missing after Typhoon Khanun tore through East China yesterday and on Sunday.
The typhoon, the 15th of the year to hit China, and the strongest, has left nearly 5.5 million people and 2.25 million hectares of cropland affected in East China's Zhejiang, Fujian, Anhui provinces and Shanghai Muncipality, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief headquarters.
Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu last Tuesday urged the governments in the typhoon-affected areas to make timely weather forecast and full preparations against Khanun.
Flooding triggered by the typhoon killed seven people and left eight missing in the port of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, Xinhua News Agency said.
Seven were killed in Zhejiang's Taizhou, which suffered the full fury of the storm overnight, a flood control official said.
"The rain has stopped and we can see trees on the street which have been blown down. Some areas of the city are still flooded, and many houses have collapsed," said the official.
Many other Zhejiang residents are recovering from the chaos caused by Khanun. About 1.05 million people in Zhejiang who had fled began to return home, to deal with the floods and repair the damage.
Zhejiang Province was the hardest hit, with damages amounting to 6.89 billion yuan (US$849 million).
More than 5.11 million people in Zhejiang were affected, with 68,300 trapped in their homes in Taizhou alone. A total of 7,468 houses were damaged. And 224,600 hectares of farmland were affected, with 48,000 hectares ruined, the provincial flood relief headquarters said.
In Jiangsu Province, Suzhou and Danyang bore the brunt of Khanun's rain and wind. "I was in a taxi when it hit. The rain was so heavy that the taxi seemed to be driving in a river," said Wang Ling, a young woman who got home at about 2:30 am yesterday in Suzhou. School officials in Suzhou cancelled classes yesterday.
In Shanghai, officials reported that a man was hit by a neon light while he walked past the ticket building of Shanghai Railway Station. His left arm was seriously hurt, but no update on his condition is available.
More than 160,000 residents were evacuated.
Service has resumed at Hongqiao and Pudong airports.
(China Daily 09/13/2005 page2)