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Typhoon Meranti Weakens to Tropical Storm, Hits East China's Zhejiang Province
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 10 - 09 - 2010

Tropical storm Meranti hit east China's Zhejiang Province at 7 p.m. Friday after leaving the neighboring province of Fujian where about 150,000 people were evacuated, said local authorities.
Typhoon Meranti weakened to a tropical storm at 2 p.m. in Fujian Province, and then to a tropical depression at 8 p.m. in Zhejiang, Xinhua reported.
The tropical depression was tracked as it passed through Lishui City of Zhejiang at 8 p.m., with a wind speed of 54 km per hour near its center, according to Zhejiang provincial flood control authorities.
The storm is moving northeastward at 20 km per hour, and may leave Zhejiang Saturday morning or further weaken, according to the Zhejiang meteorological center.
Earlier Friday Meranti made landfall at Shishi city in Fujian at 3:30 a.m., packing winds of up to 126 km per hour near its center, according to provincial flood control authorities.
A total of 145,300 people in Fujian were evacuated to avoid rain and wind triggered accidents. Also, about 33,200 fishing boats returned to port before 8:00 p.m. Thursday to take refuge from the typhoon.
Meranti has brought up to 88 mm of rain to Shishi, according to a statement released by the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters. More than 100 hectares of crops were submerged and direct economic losses have reached 15.35 million yuan (2.27 million U.S. dollars), the statement said.
In Shishi's neighboring Jinjiang city, over 100 power supply lines have been cut and more than 650 workers in 53 teams have been organized for the repair work. Rainstorms were also seen in the cities of Putian, Fuzhou and Ningde Friday.
Meranti is also forecast to bring rains to Anhui Province from Saturday and threaten more than 5 million mu (about 333,000 hectare) of crops.
The National Meteorological Center said in a statement that the storm will bring strong winds and torrential rains to parts of southern China until late Friday night.

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