Tens of thousands evacuated in China amid rain from waning Typhoon Haikui

The rain has broken 12-year-old records in Fuzhou with warnings that 49 reservoirs have exceeded flood limits.

Rescue workers evacuate residents in an inflatable dinghy. The water is brown and about thigh deep.
Rescue workers evacuate residents from the floods in Fuzhou [cnsphoto via Reuters]

Relentless rain from the remnants of Typhoon Haikui has swamped southeastern China, forcing cities in Fujian province to close schools, halt public transport and evacuate tens of thousands of people.

The rain broke 12-year-old records in the provincial capital of Fuzhou, weather officials said on Wednesday, prompting warnings that 49 reservoirs had exceeded flood limits.

More than 36,000 people were evacuated from homes, power and communications links were damaged and nearly 4,195 hectares (10,366 acres) of farmland were inundated, causing losses state media estimated at 552.1 million yuan ($75m). Schools were closed for a second day and metro and train services were suspended.

Water rushed down streets in Fuzhou and the city of Fuqing to its south, knocking over motorcycles and rubbish bins, video images on social media showed.

Cars were left marooned or submerged by the floods with buildings cut off in landslides and mudslides.

Fuzhou received up to 554mm (1.8 feet) of cumulative rain on Tuesday, China’s national forecaster said, for an hourly record of close to 150mm (0.5 ft).

That surpassed the volume brought by Typhoon Doksuri in late July, which caused floods and losses of $2bn in Fujian, state media said.

Putian and Quanzhou were among six cities elsewhere in Fujian flagged as being at risk of flash floods and landslides. The provincial government told local authorities to prepare to move people away from the areas that were expected to be hardest hit.

The rains are expected to last until Friday in central and southern parts of the province.

After swamping Taiwan, Typhoon Haikui arrived in southern China early on Tuesday, before losing strength and being downgraded to a tropical storm.

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters