Deadly typhoon makes landfall in China

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BEIJING, Oct 7 (Reuters) A strong typhoon hit the southeast Chinese coast today, forcing the evacuation of more than 1 million people, after killing five in Taiwan as it lashed the island with heavy rain and high winds.

Typhoon Krosa made landfall near the borders of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces at around 0900 IST, packing winds of up to 126 kph, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the local flood prevention headquarters.

Schools, airports and motorways in some areas were closed, while about 70,000 vessels were recalled to harbour.

A Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, with 27 crew on board, was caught in the storm some 30 km off the coast when its engines failed.

Xinhua said the Aladdin Dream was in no danger of sinking or capsizing but strong winds were preventing helicopters from lifting the crew off. A rescue ship tried to attach a cable to the stricken vessel but it snapped, Xinhua said.

British forecasting service Tropical Storm Risk downgraded Krosa's strength to category 1 from 4 and said it should weaken further to a common tropical storm as it headed north and then back out to sea towards Japan (http://tsr.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/).

Still, the authorities took no chances. Zhejiang province alone evacuated 962,000 people from the path of the storm, which dumped as much as 300 mm of rain in some places.

Krosa earlier killed five people in Taiwan. Driving rain flooded homes, blocked roads and downed trees across the island, cutting power to 2.2 million homes and businesses, Taiwan's National Fire Agency said.

Power was restored to most homes on Sunday but many flights were cancelled.

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan from August through the end of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea before weakening over land.

Reuters JK GC1503

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