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Typhoon hits China; 600,000 evacuated

world Updated: Jul 29, 2008 10:13 IST

AFP
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More than 600,000 people were evacuated as tropical storm Fung-wong made landfall on China's southeastern coast, state media reported on Tuesday.

The typhoon weakened to a tropical storm as it landed outside Fuqing city in Fujian province late Monday after slamming into Taiwan, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that left two people dead.

Fujian authorities evacuated 274,300 people and told 52,300 fishing boats to return to port, the China Daily reported. Dozens of flights were also cancelled at the province's Fuzhou airport.

Neighbouring Zhejiang province evacuated more than 338,000 people and called back more than 27,600 fishing boats, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing emergency officials.

In the hours before the storm landed, more than 205 millimetres (8 inches) of rain fell Monday in Fuqing, Xinhua reported.

Power was cut off in Fujian's Puxia county as 15 electricity transmission lines and 498 transformer stations were damaged, Xinhua said.

No one was reported hurt.

Fung-wong, Cantonese for Phoenix, is expected to be the strongest tropical storm so far this year with heavy rains and strong winds in coastal areas forecast to continue into Wednesday, the report said.