Sun, Aug 05, 2012 - Page 5 News List

China evacuates 867,000 people as storms lash coast

PLAYING IT SAFE:Local authorities in the country’s coastal provinces have closed tourist sites and issued warnings ahead of tropical storms Damrey and Saola

Bloomberg, BEIJING

A wave hits the coastal wall in downtown Qingdao City, in eastern China’s Shandong Province, on Friday. China’s coastal provinces are being plagued by the tropical storms Damrey and Saola.

Photo: EPA/WU HONG

Authorities in China evacuated 867,000 people after tropical storms Saola and Damrey hit coastal regions, bringing strong winds and rainstorms, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The storms caused one death and left five people missing in the port city of Dalian in northeastern Liaoning Province, as heavy flooding toppled a bridge and disrupted train services, Xinhua said yesterday, citing local authorities.

The central and eastern parts of China, including Liaoning, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces will experience heavy rain as the impact of the storms remains strong, the China Meteorological Administration said yesterday.

Local authorities were on alert after Saola earlier this week killed 37 people in the Philippines before moving to Taiwan where five more died. The storms will miss Beijing, where officials were criticized last month after the biggest rainstorm in 61 years hit the capital, killing more than 70 people.

Local media and members of the public accused the Beijing government of being poorly prepared for the storm that lasted for 20 hours.

Services on a major railway linking Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning, with Dalian were suspended after a section was submerged under water at about 2am local time, Xinhua said.

Flooding also caused the collapse of the railbed on a section of the Shenyang-Shanhaiguan line, it said.

The southeastern part of Liaoning received 100 millimeters to 220 millimeters of rainfall as of 4 am local time yesterday, with an area in the city of Anshan receiving 420 millimeters, Xinhua news agency said.

Saola struck China coast early on Friday in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces and Damrey arrived later, hitting Jiangsu Province to the north.

In advance of Saola and Damrey, local authorities in Fujian and Zhejiang closed tourist sites along the coast and called fishing boats back to port. In Fujian, authorities evacuated 306,000 people ahead of Saola, Xinhua reported.

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