"Typhoon Morakot" devastates Eastern China, Taiwan coastline, one million relocated

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Beijing, Aug.10 (ANI): A devastating typhoon in the coastal provinces of East China, has left at least one person dead and caused the evacuation and relocation of nearly a million people.

A China Daily report said that the eastern part of the nation is in the throes of severe flooding and warned that more rain can be expected on Monday.

With wind gusts of up to 50 m per second, "Typhoon Morakot slammed Beibi town, Xiapu county in north Fujian province, shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, bringing waves of up to eight meters high and cutting electricity in the county.

The State Flood and Drought Control Headquarters warned the region to step up disaster relief efforts against the typhoon, which is expected to cause damage of up to 8.5 billion Yuan (1.2 billion dollars).

The deadly typhoon has already claimed 23 lives in China and four lives in the Philippines and in Taiwan's Hualien region, causing the worst flooding in the island in half a century.he city saw 200,000 residents on the move after facing precipitation of 800 mm.

Rescuers raced to evacuate more than 505,000 from Fujian and 490,000 from Zhejiang, after witnessing the devastating impact in Taiwan on Saturday.

The typhoon caused a six-story hot spring resort to collapse and flipped over sections of a bridge near Hualien on Saturday. At least 31 people were reported missing.

Meteorological authorities across the Taiwan Straits had tracked down the worst typhoon this year by sharing their statistics and predictions.

Soldiers used speedboats to pick up villagers trapped on the roofs of their houses yesterday in Xiapu county hours before the typhoon hit the 500,000-populated region.

In Zhejiang, where the highest-degree "red alert" was issued, more than 35,000 ships were called back from sea, the provincial flood control headquarters said.

Fujian maritime authorities assisted hundreds of ships back to the harbor. But a 30,000-ton cargo ship was blown onto a reef early yesterday before rescuers saved eight sailors.

Strong winds and heavy rainstorms have caused traffic havoc, but were expected to do more harm after the typhoon landed. The central meteorological bureau predicted constant downpours early this week in regions under the impact of the typhoon.

Cross-Straits ferries between Xiamen and Jinmen were suspended for the second day yesterday. The Shanghai Port and Wenzhou airport both canceled ferries and flights. A number of expressways in Fujian and Zhejiang were closed.

Floods and landslides paralyzed traffic in many rural areas.

Water conservation and disaster control authorities in Anhui province, Zhejiang's northwestern neighbor, were dispatching teams to reinforce preventive measures in disaster-prone areas.

Local governments have issued flood warnings.

Officials in Shanghai released water stored in inland rivers to reduce levels in preparation, Xinhua said. (ANI)

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