Tropical Storm Morakot Hits Eastern China24.0N 121.0E
Tropical Storm Morakot hit eastern China after killing three and pouring a record 8 feet of rain onto parts of Taiwan, as mainland authorities evacuated nearly 1 million people, shut airports and harbored ships to avoid losses.
The typhoon made landfall about 4:20 p.m. local time at Xiapu County of southern China’s Fujian province, packing winds up to 119 kilometers (74 miles) an hour, Xinhua News Agency said, citing the provincial meteorological bureau. China suffered its first death from the storm when a home collapsed in Wenzhou of neighboring Zhejiang province this morning, killing a child.
Torrential rains ahead of the eighth typhoon of the year lashed coastal regions of the mainland starting yesterday morning, with as much as 300 millimeters (12 inches) recorded in some places, Xinhua said. More than 35,000 ships have been recalled to port in Zhejiang and a number of expressways in the province closed, according to the report.
In Wenzhou, more than 560,000 people were affected by the storm that destroyed more than 300 homes and forced the closures of 56 roads, Xinhua said. More than 50 flights were canceled or delayed at the Changle Airport in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian.
Officials in some Zhejiang villages distributed food and water to residents stranded by floodwaters, Xinhua said.
Three people in Taiwan are dead and 31 are missing in the wake of downpours that dumped 2,459 millimeters (97 inches) of rain on the island’s southern Pingtung County, the National Fire Agency said on its Web site.
In Taitung country, an hotel collapsed and plunged into a river after floodwaters eroded its base, but all 300 people inside were evacuated and uninjured, officials said.