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Shandong braces for typhoon (2)

By Ju Chuanjiang  (China Daily)

11:19, August 08, 2011

High billows are seen in Zhanqiao sea area in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Aug. 7, 2011. Typhoon Muifa, the ninth typhoon to hit China this year, is weakening as it moves further north along the country's affluent and densely-populated eastern coast, forcing the evacuation of 610,000 residents on its course, authorities said Sunday. The typhoon, bringing gusts up to 178 km per hour, is moving at 25 km per hour towards the coast of Shandong Province where it is expected to make landfall Monday morning, the National Meteorological Center said in a bulletin. (Xinhua/Huang Jiexian)

In Zhejiang, the rain and strong winds triggered by the typhoon brought down 169 houses, destroyed the harvest of 3,500 metric tons of crops and 121,300 metric tons of aquatic products.

Direct economic losses were estimated at 1.87 billion yuan ($289.9 million), according to the provincial disaster relief agency.

A construction ship carrying seven people that berthed close to Zhoushan, in Zhejiang province, sank on Saturday. Six crew members were rescued and one was missing, local media reported.

Strong winds caused an electrical wire to come loose, cutting the power supply to more than 300 residents in Ningbo.

According to the flood control headquarters of Zhejiang province, by Sunday more than 330,000 people had been evacuated from the province's coastal areas and 30,000 vessels had been forced to return to the port to shelter from the wind.

The tourism industry was also affected in the country's coastal areas.

The 13th China International Beer Festival in Dalian, Liaoning province, was closed on Saturday, two days earlier than the original schedule, to prevent unexpected damage.

An emergency meeting chaired by Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei, also deputy head of the country's disaster relief agency, was held on Sunday in Beijing to arrange prevention measures.

The agency ordered two more provinces - Jilin and Heilongjiang in the Northeast - to increase disaster relief efforts as the typhoon headed toward them.
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