Deadly storms

Five die in back-to-back ty­phoons in South China

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Re­cent tor­rents in south­ern China have left at least five peo­ple dead and re­sulted in di­rect eco­nomic losses of about 37 mil­lion yuan ($5.5 mil­lion), as some ar­eas in the re­gion were bat­tered by two ma­jor storms in suc­ces­sion over two days.

Heavy rains since Fri­day, ac­com­pa­nied by high winds and hail in some ar­eas, have af­fected 37,000 peo­ple in Hubei and Hu­nan prov­inces and the Guangxi Zhuang au­tonomous re­gion, in­un­dat­ing 2,200 hectares of farm­land, the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs said on Mon­day.

The two storms, which landed on Sun­day and Mon­day, may bring more losses to the south­ern part of the coun­try, the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory warned.

Trop­i­cal Storm Hai­tang, the 10th trop­i­cal cy­clone this year, landed around 3 am on Mon­day in Fuqing, Fu­jian prov­ince. Pack­ing winds up to 65 kilo­me­ters per hour, Hai­tang fol­lowed Ty­phoon Ne­sat, which swept into Fuqing at 6 am on Sun­day, with winds of 119 km/h, ac­cord­ing to the Fu­jian me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory.

Both a ty­phoon and a trop­i­cal storm are cy­clones, but they fall in dif­fer­ent me­te­oro- log­i­cal clas­si­fi­ca­tions. A ty­phoon is more vi­o­lent, with much higher wind speeds.

It was the third time since 1990 that two ma­jor storms have struck the prov­ince al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Since July 21, there have been six ma­jor storms, though it’s un­com­mon to see two make land­fall in Fu­jian, the State me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory said.

The storms brought heavy rain to the prov­ince, with pre­cip­i­ta­tion ex­ceed­ing 50 mil­lime­ters in 64 coun­ties, cities or dis­tricts over the past 24 hours as of 6 am on Mon­day. Pre­cip­i­ta­tion reached 172.4 mm at Yun­shan vil­lage in Yong­tai county, the Fu­jian flood con­trol and dis­as­ter re­lief head­quar­ters said in a state­ment.

As of 5 pm Sun­day, 216,000 peo­ple had been evac­u­ated across the prov­ince, the head­quar­ters said. The two storms have so far af­fected 26,200 peo­ple in Fu­jian, in­un­dat­ing 1,350 hectares of crops and caus­ing di­rect eco­nomic losses es­ti­mated at 51 mil­lion yuan, the State Flood Con­trol and Drought Re­lief Head­quar­ters said on Mon­day.

It also said Fu­jian evac­u­ated 216,000 peo­ple who work on the sea or who live and work in the af­fected ar­eas. Also, 1,294 fish­ing ves­sels re­turned to port to take shel­ter from the storms.

In neigh­bor­ing Zhe­jiang prov­ince, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties evac­u­ated 135,000 peo­ple, while 22,000 fish­ing boats left the high-risk ar­eas.

Ear­lier, the head­quar­ters dis­patched nine teams to guide prepa­ra­tions for the two storms and the re­sult­ing floods.

As they ap­proached the Chi­nese main­land, the two storms raked Taiwan. Ne­sat hit on Sat­ur­day evening in Taiwan’s Yi­lan county, and Hai­tang fol­lowed at 4:40 on Sun­day in Ping­tung. It was the first time in 50 years that dual trop­i­cal storms have struck the is­land al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

JIANG KEHONG / XIN­HUA

A pedes­trian braves heavy rain in Fuqing, Fu­jian prov­ince, on Mon­day. Trop­i­cal Storm Hai­tang made land­fall in the city on Mon­day morn­ing in the wake of Ty­phoon Ne­sat, which roared into the city on Sun­day. The gov­ern­ment has warned peo­ple about the po­ten­tial of floods and land­slides.

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