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Deadly typhoon hits China
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 10 - 2010

Water swashes against rocks in a pier as Typhoon Megi draws near, in Zhangzhou, southeast China's Fujian Province. In Fujian, authorities said 161,800 people were evacuated to safer places. (AP)
BEIJING: Torrential rain and gale-force winds lashed southern China Saturday as Typhoon Megi made landfall after killing at least 48 people as it roared through the Philippines and battered Taiwan.
State television broadcast images of strong winds bending trees double in the southeastern province of Fujian, where billboards had toppled down and large waves whipped the coast.
Roads in the city of Zhangzhou, which lies in the path of the storm, were flooded by torrential rain.
China's national meteorological center confirmed that Megi had reached the coast and warned people not to venture out.
“If you are already outside, do not shelter from the rain near temporary structures, billboards, iron masts and trees,” it said in a statement. As it edged into China, Megi was downgraded to a strong tropical storm and weather authorities said it would continue to weaken as it made its way north.
But they warned people in Fujian and neighboring Zhejiang province to be aware of the danger of floods and mudslides.
Megi has already wreaked havoc in the Philippines, where it left 36 people dead, and in Taiwan, where rescuers are still searching for two dozen missing people. At least 12 people there died in storm-triggered mud and landslides.
Authorities in southern China have cut ferry services and flights, and more than 270,000 people have been evacuated in Fujian alone in anticipation of Megi – one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years. Provincial flood control authorities said more people would have to be evacuated as the storm made its way into China, the official Xinhua news agency said.
– Agence France


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