Typhoon lashes Taiwan; Fujian battens down

Updated: 2007-08-08 10:32

TAIPEI - China has relocated thousands of people in its eastern coastal province of Fujian as it battens down for a storm expected to hit on Wednesday after brushing Taiwan.

Tropical Storm Pabuk lashed southern Taiwan, an island off Chinese mainland's southeast coast, with heavy rains, temporarily cutting power to more than 50,000 homes and causing minor flooding, officials said, but there was no widespread damage.

By 0000 GMT, the centre of the storm was about 110 km (70 miles) west of Kaohsiung and was moving west at 23 kph, with sustained winds of up to 101 kph and maximum gusts of 126 kph.

In Fujian, more than 20,000 people had been moved to safety, while more than 6,700 boats had returned to shore, Xinhua news agency quoted the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters as saying.

Heavy downpours are forecast for central and southern parts of the province after a summer in which vast swathes of China have suffered flooding or drought, killing at least 700 people.

Tropical storms in the region gather intensity from the warm ocean waters and can develop into typhoons that frequently hit Japan, the Philippines, and southern China during a season that lasts from early summer to late autumn.

In 2001, one of Taiwan's deadliest years for storms, Typhoon Toraji, killed 200 people. A few months later, Typhoon Nari caused Taipei's worst flooding on record, killing 100.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours