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Dual typhoons lash coastal regions in East China


11:24, August 04, 2012

A villager wades through water in Xiapu county, Fujian province after Typhoon Saola brings rains to most parts of the province on Aug 3, 2012. (Photo/Xinhua)

FUZHOU/BEIJING - Gales and rainstorms have lashed coastal regions in East China following the arrival of two tropical storms early Friday, forcing the evacuation of 867,000 people as of 6 pm Friday, according to the tally by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Strong tropical storm Saola, which has weakened from a typhoon, made landfall in the city of Fuding in East China's Fujian province at 6:50 am Friday, packing winds of 90 km per hour near its center, according to the provincial meteorological station.

It is expected to move northwest at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour, bringing heavy rains to northern Fujian and Jiangxi provinces later Friday, the station said.

As of 6 pm Friday, 214,000 residents in Fujian have been relocated, according to the ministry. The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters previously put the number of evacuees at 306,000.

The station said local governments should prepare for storm-triggered natural disasters such as floods and mudslides.

In the neighboring province of Zhejiang, about 716,000 people were affected by Saola, among whom 349,000 were evacuated, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Saola previously made landfall at 3 am Thursday in Hualien, Taiwan, bringing heavy rains and forcing most schools and offices on the island to close.

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