|177,000 displaced in Zhejiang, one killed in wake of 23rd typhoon to slam into China
Typhoon Fitow slammed into China’s east coast today after thousands of people were evacuated to safety and weather watchers issued the highest alert level. At least one person was killed in Wenzhou, China National Radio said in an online report.
(Frontier defense soldiers encounter high waves caused by Typhoon Fitow in Wenling City in Zhejiang Province).
The storm, packing winds of up to 151 kilometers an hour, made landfall in Fujian province in the early hours, bringing lashing rain and causing blackouts, Xinhua news agency reported.
It was expected to continue northwest but weaken quickly, the National Meteorological Center said.
In Zhejiang province's coastal Cangnan County some houses collapsed in the strong winds, according to flood control authorities, while a boy was injured by flying glass.
As the storm bore down Sunday, the National Meteorological Centre issued a red alert, its highest level. In Zhejiang 574,000 people were evacuated, while in Fujian 177,000 were displaced, Xinhua reported.
Two port workers in Zhejiang's city of Wenzhou may have fallen into the sea, the agency said, as authorities were urged to check the safety of dams, reservoirs and chemical plants.
The storm also forced the suspension of bullet train services in several cities in Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces Sunday, while Wenzhou's airport cancelled 27 flights, Xinhua said.
Maritime authorities also issued red alerts, warning of storm tides and waves, with fishermen urged to return to port and local authorities told to prepare harbor facilities and sea walls for high tides.
In Zhejiang more than 35,000 boats returned to harbor while in Fujian nearly 30,000 vessels were called back, according to Xinhua.
Named after a flower from Micronesia, Fitow comes just two weeks after Typhoon Usagi wreaked havoc in the region leaving at least 25 reported dead in southern China.
Fitow, which Xinhua described as the 23rd to hit China this year, arrived after passing through Japan's southern Okinawan island chain and surging past the north of Taiwan, causing flight and ferry cancellations.—AFP