September 2, 2005

Typhoon kills 11 in China, three in Taiwan

BEIJING (Reuters) - A typhoon killed 14 people as it swept
across Taiwan and tore into China, triggering landslides and
forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, Chinese
state media and Taiwan rescue officials said on Friday.

Typhoon Talim, which has since weakened into a tropical
storm, killed nine people in mudslides and cave-ins on Thursday
in mountainous parts of China's eastern Zhejiang province,
Xinhua news agency said. Fifteen people were missing.

In one county alone, more than 300 houses had been
destroyed and main roads cut off.

A father and son were killed when their house collapsed in
Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, to the south of Zhejiang.

In Taiwan, three people were killed and 59 people were
injured, according to the island's National Fire
Administration's disaster response center.

As of late Thursday, more than 780,000 homes in Taiwan were
without power and 48,000 had no access to clean water.

Chinese authorities bracing for the storm had evacuated
nearly 500,000 people, the China Daily said.

Fujian authorities also shut schools and airports, closed
sections of highway and suspended ferry services to ride out
the storm, the newspaper said. Talim kicked up waves as high as
10 metres (33 feet) off Fujian.

Typhoons frequently menace Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines,
Hong Kong and southern China during the storm season that lasts
from early summer to late autumn.

A large typhoon churning toward Japan's Okinawa island has
strengthened to a maximum category five storm -- technically
the same strength as Hurricane Katrina that devastated New
Orleans -- and experts said it could threaten Japan's
southernmost main island in days.

Typhoon Nabi -- Korean for "butterfly" -- had increased in
power to super-typhoon status, the Tropical Storm Risk group at
University College London said on its Web site,

(Additional reporting by Tiffany Wu in Taipei)