- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Slightly Liberal
TYPHOON SLAMS INTO CHINA
Typhoon Talim slammed into southern China late Thursday after barrelling across the island of Taiwan, felling billboards and trees and smashing windows.
Hellish scenes of damage and chaos wrecked the east coast, as overwhelmed authorities evacuated more than 790,000 people.
Talim, packing winds of up to 185 kilometres per hour, was forecast to be the strongest storm to hit China this season.
However, winds did not appear as strong as they were in Taiwan where three people have died and dozens have been injured.
Two men drowned in southern Taiwan and northern Miaoli region while a 60 year old woman was hit by lightning in the southern Changhua region, the National Fire Agency said.
Among those injured were eight prisoners and a policeman, hurt when their van rammed a crash barrier.
Talim is "probably the strongest typhoon China will experience in terms of wind this summer," said National Meteorological Centre expert Zhang Ling.
The China Meteorological Association said the storm made landfall at Putian city in Fujian late Thursday afternoon, bringing torrential rain and strong winds.
State Television showed rising seas off the coast of Fujian as rain hammered coastal roads.
Nearly 500,000 people have been evacuated in Fujian and another 291,000 from neighbouring Zhejian province, according to local officials, while more than 29,000 ships and fishing vessels had taken shelter in harbours.
Authorities predicted Talim would reach shore in the afternoon or evening between the Fujian cities of Lianjiang and Jinjiang, about 750 kilometres south of Beijing. Calls to the Fujian observatory and anti-flooding office rang unanswered Thursday.
Authorities issued a top-level "black alarm", as offices, schools and financial markets closed in Taiwan, all domestic flights were cancelled and many trains and international air services are delayed.
Most air and land traffic returned to normal later, but weather experts predict that strong winds and rains will continue in central and southern areas.
Electricity was cut to 1.7 million homes but most were reconnected.
In the capital, where the rain and winds were less severe than elsewhere, bars, karaoke lounges and restaurants were crowded as people took advantage of the national holiday declared till Monday as a result of Talim.
Typhoons frequently hit Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and southern China during the storm season that lasts from early summer to late autumn.