CHINA: 500 thousand people flee coast as typhoon Soulik hits China

CINA_-_TifoneThe storm killed two people in Taiwan and is causing damage worth millions of dollars. Currently it is over the provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang: authorities have evacuated the population, canceled flights and grounded more than 31 thousand boats. The area is under military command with more than 6 thousand soldiers deployed for rescue operations.Beijing (AsiaNews) – After killing two people in Taiwan, Typhoon Soulik has made landfall on the coast of East China: more than 500 thousand people were evacuated by the government, which has sent about 6 thousand soldiers to affected areas and grounded 31 thousand boats. The National Weather Center is reporting wind gusts of up to 120 kilometers per hour, but explains that the typhoon “could become” a tropical storm within two days.

The coastal areas of Fujian and Zhejiang have been temporarily placed under military control, which has brought in tents and basic necessities. The government has canceled flights to and from the affected area and ordered all the boats to return to the port of Xiamen. An estimated 25 inches of rain fell in the area overnight and several rivers and streams have risen above alert levels: in the city of Nangde waves are reported to have exceeded 10 meters in height.

Government officials say they have done “everything possible to avoid harm to the population,” but the storm has already caused direct economic damage to the tune of several million dollars. The city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang, claims to have already lost about 34 million dollars in damage control and emergencies.

Before touching the coasts of mainland China, the typhoon devastated Taiwan, where two people died, one is currently missing and 104 were injured. In the central part of the island the rains have caused landslides, while at least 5 villages have suffered serious damage.

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