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Tuesday, June 26, 2001, updated at 10:12(GMT+8)

Typhoon Chebi Savages Fujian, At Least 79 Killed

Typhoon Chebi Savages Fujian, At Least 79 Killed
"Chebi,'' the second tropical typhoon this year, ravaged southeastern China's Fujian Province on Sunday, killing at least 79 people and leaving another 87 missing.

Local authorities and the military have made every effort to help reduce losses caused by the typhoon.

For seven hours, Chebi wreaked havoc on the province, especially in Ningde and the provincial capital Fuzhou.

According to the latest official statistics, more than 2.14 million people have been affected and about 65,300 hectares of crops have been devastated by the typhoon, and in Fuzhou 71 people were killed and 83 are missing.

Typhoon Chebi Arrives at Southern Province
Local sources said the death toll will climb, while officials are making every effort to help the victims and deal with the damage.

Initial surveys indicate that direct economic losses in agriculture, forestry, livestock raising, and aquaculture in Fuzhou and Ningde have reached 2.4 billion yuan (US$289 million) and 530 million yuan (US$64 million) respectively.

As soon as the typhoon struck, Provincial Governor Xi Jinping and Party head Song Defu went to the stricken areas to observe rescue work.

In a coastal aquatic farm in Fuqing City, 61 men were rescued from the waves by soldiers.

The men, who ignored typhoon warnings and set out to sea to try to protect their property, were swept into waves. The soldiers, risking their lives in patrol boats amid huge waves and torrential rain, after several hours of strenuous efforts, successfully plucked all of the men from the water.

Soldiers also successfully prevented seven ships from Taiwan from sinking or drifting away after their mooring lines broke in Songxia Port of Changle County. All crew aboard were taken ashore.

Soldiers in Ningde moved 160 local fish boats, 45 ships from Taiwan and 2,300 fishermen to shelter before the deadly typhoon struck.

By midnight Sunday, transportation and public services had been restored in Fuzhou.

The Changle International Airport was reopened at 12:20 Sunday afternoon, and more than 2,000 passengers held up at the airport have gone on to their destinations.

The provincial administration has required local governments to intensify the search for the missing and to console and compensate the relatives of the dead.

The Fuzhou City Government has initially allocated 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to help people in the stricken areas.

During the typhoon, more than 3,000 trees in the urban areas of Fuzhou were toppled. As much as 100,000 tons of aquatic products were destroyed.

And about 321,400 houses were flattened in Ningde's four counties, where at least two people died.

In This Section

"Chebi,'' the second tropical typhoon this year, ravaged southeastern China's Fujian Province on Sunday, killing at least 73 people and leaving another 87 missing.

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