Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 and is filed under International News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.



Image: A rescuer carries a woman to a safer area in Taizhou, Zhejiang province
Photographs: Reuters


Millions of people in China were displaced when typhoon Haikui, the worst storm to hit the country’s coast since 2005, wrecked havoc in the eastern parts with heavy flooding.

Haikui, the 11th typhoon to hit China this year lashed Zhejiang Province in the early hours on Wednesday with winds speeds touching 150 km.

Provincial authorities have evacuated 1.5 million people in preparation for the storm, as it is expected to remain in the province for 24 hours before moving to neighbouring Anhui Province, Li Jian, head of the provincial meteorological bureau told the official media.

Rain-triggered flooding stranded about 130 people in three hotels in the city of Lin’an, of which 123 people have been rescued so far, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Roads to the hotels were flooded, forcing the rescuers to walk the last two kilometres on foot, rescuers said. Another 300 tourists were stranded in a scenic area in Anji County after a bridge linking the scenic spot and the foot of a nearby mountain was destroyed on Tuesday, county officials said.

The bridge was briefly fixed on Tuesday afternoon and some tourists were rescued, but the bridge was severed again on Wednesday morning after more rains hit the area, officials said.

The rains have also caused 12 townships to lose power, according to the provincial power company. Railway authorities have cancelled all passenger trains departing from and arriving at the cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang.

The Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport closed at 7:30 am (local time) due to strong winds, airport staff said.

The neighboring city of Shanghai prepared for the storm by relocating 3.74 lakh people before gales and downpours started to hit the city on Wednesday, according to the Shanghai observatory.

All parks and construction sites in Shanghai have been closed and employers have been asked to give their staff a day off on Wednesday, according to the municipal government. At noon on Wednesday, Shanghai issued a red alert for the typhoon, the highest alert in the country’s four-tier colour-coded weather warning system.

Services on the maglev line connecting Shanghai’s Pudong New Area with the Shanghai Pudong Airport, as well as the Shanghai-Hangzhou High-speed Railway and a section of  the city’s line 2 subway have been suspended as a result of the storm.

The storm is expected to bring gales and rainstorms to southern areas in east China’s Jiangsu Province on Wednesday afternoon, according to the provincial meteorological station.

Authorities in Jiangsu had relocated 1.71 lakh people and ordered more than 18,000 ships to return to harbour, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Haikui is the third typhoon to wallop China’s eastern coast in a week after storms Saola and Damrey hit the region over the weekend.

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