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Haikui hammers Shanghai, East China

By Wang Zhenghua and Li Xinzhu (China Daily)

08:09, August 09, 2012

A gym provides temporary accommodation for dozens of people in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday as Typhoon Haikui bears down. (Photo by Zhang Di / for China Daily)

Typhoon Haikui battered the country's coastal areas with strong winds and floods on Wednesday, killing at least one person, and is expected to linger in East China through Friday.

China's third typhoon in a week landed in Hepu township, Xiangshan county in Zhejiang province, at 3:20 am, causing widespread flooding and landslides, paralyzing traffic and triggering blackouts throughout the area.

In Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, a 68-year-old cyclist was crushed by a tree leveled by strong winds from Haikui. The man died later in a hospital, China News Services reported on Wednesday.

China's National Meteorological Center said Haikui, which means "sea anemone", lessened to a strong storm on Wednesday afternoon, packing winds of up to 108 kilometers per hour. It would move northwest at a speed of 15 km/h, with its center expected to enter East China's Anhui province on Wednesday night, the center said.

It will linger near the border area of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang on Thursday and Friday, as its strength slowly ebbs, the center said.

"Haikui moved very slowly on land because of the lack of a strong air current to lead it more quickly, and it is located in a weak meteorological area between continental high pressure and the secondary high pressure on the sea," Shanghai Meteorological Bureau's chief meteorologist, Man Liping, said on Wednesday.

In Shanghai, the meteorological department raised the typhoon alarm to red, the highest level, at 11:30 am on Wednesday. The entire city was subject to the storm's wrath, with maximum rainfall in areas close to 130 millimeters.

Many companies closed for the day, and hundreds of thousands of residents living on the city's outskirts were evacuated. Haikui's impact on Shanghai was expected to subside slightly between Wednesday night and early Thursday.

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