Monday, September 05, 2005
China Evacuates 790,000 As Typhoon Slams Into Coast
Maybe The Chinese Should Take Over The U.S.? 9/2/05: "China evacuated more than 790,000 people as powerful Typhoon Talim slammed into its east coast yesterday after barrelling across Taiwan, where it left three dead and dozens injured. Talim was forecast to be the strongest storm to hit China this season and the observatory in Fujian province issued its highest-level alert, warning of potential landslides, flooding and widespread damage.With a radius of 250 kilometres, Talim was packing centre winds of up to 144 kilometres per hour, according to the central weather bureau in Taiwan.The China Meteorological Association said the storm made landfall at Putian city in Fujian late afternoon, bringing torrential rain and strong winds.State television showed rising seas off the coast of Fujian as rains hammered coastal roads, but winds did not appear as strong as they were in Taiwan where three people died and 59 were injured on Wednesday and yesterday.Nearly 500,000 people have been evacuated in Fujian and another 291,000 from neighbouring Zhejiang province, according to local officials, while some 30,000 fishing vessels returned to harbour. Most flights from Fujian's capital Fuzhou were cancelled yesterday and schools province-wide have been ordered to close until Monday, state television said.Talim is "probably the strongest typhoon China will experience in terms of wind this summer," said National Meteorological Centre expert Zhang Ling.Wang Dongfa, head of Zhejiang's meteorological bureau, said they expect the typhoon to focus on Fujian but nevertheless warned of torrential rain to Wenzhou, Taizhou and Ningbo cities and surrounding areas.East and south-east China are prone to typhoons and have been pummeled by dozens over the past 50 years.Talim churned through Taiwan Wednesday but by late yesterday had largely left the island as it churned towards China.Two men drowned in southern Tainan and northern Miaoli counties while a 60-year-old woman was hit by lightning in the southern Changhua county, the National Fire Agency said.Offices, schools and financial markets closed in Taiwan, all domestic flights were cancelled and many trains and international air services were delayed. An air raid drill slated for Friday in Taipei was postponed until next week. Electricity was cut to 1.7 million homes but most were expected to be reconnected before the end of the day.In Taichung, a bridge connecting Kukuan, a popular hot spring, was submerged by flash floods, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of tourists. In the northeastern county of Ilan, powerful waves smashed into the port of Wushi which was closed by the authorities.Among those injured were eight prisoners and a policeman, hurt when their van rammed a crash barrier.In the capital, where the rain and winds were less severe than elsewhere, bars, karaoke lounges and restaurants were crowded as people took advantage of the national holiday declared as a result of Talim."