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Typhoon forces evacuation of over 1 million
By Shao Xiaoyi in Hangzhou, and Hu Meidong, Li Dapeng in Fuzhou (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-20 06:02

More than 1 million people fled their homes along China's southeast coast as Typhoon Haitang slammed into the mainland yesterday after hammering Taiwan, killing four people.

Police officers help local residents to evacuate in a village in Cangnan county in eastern China's Zhejiang province July 19, 2005. [newsphoto] 
At 5:10 pm, the typhoon hit the coastal Chinese town of Huangqi in Fujian Province, with winds of 126-kilometres-per-hour reported in Lianjiang in Fujian.

Heavy rain was falling over much of the province. State television showed villages awash with floodwaters that turned streets into rivers as well as soldiers delivering boxes of food to people living in temporary shelters.

More than 1 million people were evacuated from their homes in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, China Central Television reported.

One correspondent said the harsh winds felt like sand pelting his face.

But the winds weakened as the typhoon moved inland towards the northwest, and downgraded to a tropical storm late yesterday, Xinhua reported.

The airport at Fujian's provincial capital, Fuzhou, was closed and flights diverted north to Shanghai or south to Xiamen, the agency said.

More than 300 people trapped in their homes in Cangnan County in Zhejiang were rescued in the aftermath of Haitang, local officials reported last night.
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