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Typhoon Sepat causes halt of flights, mass evacuations in east China
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 18 - 08 - 2007

More than 900,000 people in south and east China provinces have been relocated to safety as typhoon Sepat is expected to land in Fujian Province on Saturday on Sunday morning, Xinhua reported.
Sepat made a landfall in Hualien, the central-eastern part of Taiwan around 5:40 a.m. Saturday, with sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour, according to the China Central Meteorological Center.
Power cut for thousands of households and downpours were reported in many parts of the island.
The eye of Sepat is moving northwest at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour and was expected to make a second landfall in Fujian on Saturday night or Sunday morning, the Fujian meteorological station said.
Winds of up to 144 km per hour have been reported in the central coast of Fujian Saturday morning.
The provincial meteorological station has issued the highest-level warnings for Sepat.
More than 540,000 people in Fujian have been relocated to safe places by 7:00 p.m. Saturday, according to government officials.
All entries of expressways in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, were closed, while 109 domestic and international flights at the Fuzhou airport were cancelled on Saturday. Xiamen and Jinjiang cities also cancelled outbound flights.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs have sent 3,000 tents to evacuated people in Fujian.
Downpours have been forecast to hit the coastal areas of Fujian and neighboring Zhejiang Province starting from Saturday night.
Passenger liners shuttling from Fujian to Taiwan have been suspended since Friday afternoon and it is undecided when services will resume.
In Zhejiang Province, nearly 300,000 people had been evacuated to safety and 27,704 vessels back to harbor by 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
Rain with precipitations of up to 87 millimeters hit Wenzhou, Pingyang, Taishun between Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Three large reservoirs in Wenzhou discharged 17.5 million cubic meters of water in advance to leave room for more rainwater.
In Guangdong, around 70,000 fishing farm workers on the sea, fishermen and residents in low-lying areas have been evacuated to safe areas.


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