Typhoon prompts massive evacuations in China

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Typhoon Morakot on August 7, 2009.
Image: NASA.

Chinese officials ordered the evacuations of one million residents, following the arrival of Typhoon Morakot on the coastline south of Shanghai on Sunday.

The move comes a day after the typhoon pounded the neighbouring island of Taiwan with torrential rains that caused the heaviest flooding in the country for half a century. According to the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau, the storm's winds reached 110 kilometres per hour.

As of the night of August 9, the eye of Morakot was about seventy kilometres away from the Chinese province of Fujian. The typhoon is estimated to be moving toward China at eleven kph.

480,000 people in Fujian were evacuated, and a further 490,000 were forced to leave their homes from the Zhejiang province. 48,000 boats were called back to their harbours by officials. The Chinese official news agency Xinhua reports that the city of Wenzhou|Wenzhou cancelled 39 departing flights.

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