Powerful storm hits Chinese coast

Mass evacuation ordered as storm hits after leaving five dead in Taiwan.

Krosa left five people dead in Taiwan [AFP]
Krosa left five people dead in Taiwan [AFP]

Al Jazeera’s correspondent in China, Tony Cheng, said the Chinese government’s efforts to improve infrastructure to withstand the annual storms and drain away water appeared to be paying off.


Together with the mass evacuation of 1.4 million people from low-lying coastal areas, including around 500,000 tourists at local beach resorts for the National Day holiday week, it had managed to minimise damage to life and property.


More than 75,000 boats were recalled as fishermen were ordered back to port.


Schools, airports and highways in some areas were also closed.


Early on Sunday, China‘s coastguard rescued 27 people from a Hong Kong freighter that suffered mechanical failure after it was hit by the storm off the port of Wenzhou in Zhejiang, Xinhua said.


Authorities in neighbouring Fujian province warned of possible mudslides brought on by torrential rains before Krosa’s arrival.


Holidays for flood-control workers were cancelled in Shanghai, where the Special Olympics and the Chinese Grand Prix were under way, and plans to drain competition sites were afoot.


Taiwan pounded


Paramilitary policemen helping to evacuate 
residents in Zhejiang province [Reuters]

Krosa killed five people on Taiwan as it knocked out power to 2.2 million homes and businesses and drenched the island, according to disaster relief officials.


A landslide killed two people in a mountainous area of the capital, Taipei, while isolated accidents caused by high winds killed another two. A traffic accident caused the fifth casualty, Taiwan‘s National Fire Agency reported.


The storm led to the cancellation on Sunday of hundreds of flights and the government continued to advise people against going to work or school.


Tropical Storm Risk, a British typhoon-tracking organisation, said Krosa was expected to head northeast toward Fukuoka in Japan.


Vietnam deaths


Meanwhile in Vietnam, the toll from Typhoon Lekima, which battered the central coast last week, rose to 55.


Another 16 people remained missing.


Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces were hit hardest by torrential rains, with strong winds blowing off roofs and floods submerging entire villages.


Nguyen Xuan Hanh, a Nghe An provincial official, said: “We have not seen flooding like this in 20 years. It was so fast and so out of the blue.”


On Saturday, helicopters dropped food to stranded villagers while rescue workers waded through chest-high water to assist people to safety.


The government said preliminary damage from the typhoon, the fifth of 2007, stood at $41m after the storm and floods destroyed about 100,000 homes, mainly in Vietnam’s central provinces.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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