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Typhoon in Hainan leaves hundreds homeless
( 2003-11-20 23:30) (China Daily)

Torrential rain and strong winds from typhoon Nepartak have affected more than 1.72 million people in China's southernmost province of Hainan, and destroyed around 800 homes, preliminary statistics showed Thursday.

Typhoon Nepartak hit South China's island province of Hainan, destroying hundreds of homes and causing 1.6 billion yuan in losses to the economy. [newsphoto.com.cn]
Nepartak, which wreaked havoc on the island province from Sunday night until Tuesday, affected 10 cities and counties in the southwest of the province. The storm also damaged 63,970 hectares of crops, which reduced the province's grain output by 3,200 tons, and killed 400 head of livestock.

One large reservoir and another 58 small ones were affected by the storm. Thirty-eight firms stopped production and 72 highways were closed.

However, Nepartak also brought abundant rainfall to the local reservoirs which had been suffering from water shortages.

The province's total water supply increased by an estimated 512 million cubic metres . Supplies for agricultural use and power generation rose by 237 million and 275 million cubic metres respectively.

Relief agencies are helping lives and production return to normal. Nepartak caused 1.631 billion yuan (US$197 million) in losses to the economy, according to the local disaster prevention department.

However, in East China's Fujian Province, all the small reservoirs have dried out due to a drought that has continued since summer.

Large- and medium-sized reservoirs are holding less than half of their normal water levels.

According to the provincial meteorological department, this summer drought, the worst since 1939, has affected 35 cities and counties.

Many parts of the province are affected, especially northwestern and coastal areas.

Rainfall has decreased by 30 per cent or more over previous years, Liu Aiming, deputy head of the department was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Farmers on islands have had to extract water from springs on the hills by using plastic pipes. Fire trucks were even used to supply water on Sansha Island of Fuding, city in Fujian Province.

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