Home > Nation
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 17:30

Typhoon weakens after landing in southeast China

By Agencies

 Typhoon weakens after landing in southeast China
A girl struggles with winds from approaching Typhoon Matmo along the eastern coast of Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, July 22, 2014. (Photo / AP)
BEIJING - Typhoon Matmo churned ashore in southeastern China on Wednesday and was downgraded to a tropical storm, while the death toll from last week's more powerful Typhoon Rammasun rose further.

After passing across Taiwan overnight Tuesday, Matmo made landfall in China's heavily populated province of Fujian. The country's weather agency said it had gusts of 108 kilometers (67 miles) per hour and was moving at 20 kph (12 mph).

Authorities in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, had ordered fishing boats to return to port and stepped up patrols to watch for breaks in coastal and river embankments, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

A total of 1,477 tourists on an island in Zhejiiang province had been evacuated as Matmo approached, local authorities said.

The tourists on Nanji Island boarded 14 additional flights and had all left the island as of 2 pm Tuesday.

Nanji Island is a popular tourist destination in Wenzhou city of Zhejiang, all flight services to or from the island have been suspended due to the approaching typhoon.

The typhoon weakened after dumping heavy rain on Taiwan, where it killed one person, injured five others and knocked out power to 31,505 homes, according to the island's Central News Agency.

A man in northern Taiwan died after falling into a pool on his farm. News reports said a tourist was missing after taking pictures on a shore.

Taiwan's military had gathered and distributed sandbags in anticipation of flooding.

Matmo was forecast to turn north and pass over areas west of Shanghai, China's biggest business center, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

Rains of up to 300 millimeters (12 inches) were forecast in Shanghai and areas as far north as Jiangsu province, Xinhua said, citing the country's weather agency.

Farther south on the mainland, communities in Guangdong province and on Hainan Island were clearing away debris left by Rammasun, which hit China on Friday.

Also Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs raised China's death toll from Rammasun to 56 and said another 20 people were missing. That raised the total number of deaths from Rammasun in the Philippines, China and Vietnam to 161.

Rammasun, with winds of up to 216 kph (130 mph), was the strongest typhoon to hit China in four decades. It destroyed 40,000 houses, knocked out power and water supplies and caused 38 billion yuan ($6 billion) in economic losses, the ministry said.

Latest News