Sunday, August 09, 2009

One million flee China typhoon !

Waves as high as 9m have been reported on China's south-east coast

Authorities have evacuated almost one million people living on China's south-eastern coast ahead of the impending arrival of Typhoon Morakot.

Some 473,000 residents of Zhejiang province have been evacuated as well as 480,000 from Fujian, Xinhua reports.

More than 35,000 boats have been called to shore. Morakot dumped 2.5m of rain on Taiwan as it crossed the island.

The flooding in Taiwan was the worst to hit some of the southern counties in half a century.

Map

Morakot has also contributed to heavy rains in the Philippines, where at least 10 people were killed in flooding and landslides in the north.

Provincial authorities have sent more than 8m mobile phone text messages to residents warning them of the typhoon's approach, the Chinese state news agency reports.

Typhoons are frequent in the region between July and September.

In Taiwan, more than 200cm of rain fell on Friday and Saturday alone, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

At least 29 people were reported missing and one person killed after the typhoon lashed the island.

Taiwan hotel collapses after typhoon

Flash-flooding was reported to have washed away a makeshift home in southern Kaohsiung, leaving 16 people missing.

Three others were swept away in the south-eastern Taitung county, among them two policemen who had been helping to evacuate villagers.

A hotel in the south of the island collapsed after flood waters undermined its foundations.

The hotel in Chihpen, one of Taiwan's most famous hot spring resorts, is believed to have been completely evacuated before it collapsed.


BBC NEWS REPORT.

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