September 15, 2008

China Evacuates 460,000 As Typhoon Sinlaku Approaches Eastern Provinces

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

[Xinhua: "460,000 People Evacuated as Tropical Storm Sinlaku Approaches East China"]

Fuzhou, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) - About 460,000 people in east China's Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces have been evacuated as tropical storm Sinlaku, which was weakened from a typhoon on Monday morning, was approaching.

The Fujian provincial headquarters for flood control said on Monday morning that close to 230,000 people had been evacuated as of 9 p.m. on Sunday and the mass evacuation was still under way.

In Zhejiang, 230,000 residents have been evacuated and 30,000 fishing boats have been recalled to harbour.

Typhoon Sinlaku weakened into a tropical storm at 8 a.m. Monday, while its eye was reported to be about 203 km to the southeast of Wenzhou in southeastern Zhejiang and move northward at a speed of 5 km per hour, according to the local weather authorities.

Heavy rains were reported in eastern and northern parts of Zhejiang and central and northern parts of Fujian on Monday morning.

Sinlaku, the 13th tropical storm so far this year in China, injured 13 people when it hit northeastern Taiwan on Sunday.

More than 130,000 households in Taiwan suffered a power blackout, and 800 lost their water supply, which has yet to be reconnected. A total of 32 shelters have been built for 782 typhoon victims, local authority said.

Work and schools were suspended in 21 counties and cities on the island on Sunday.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0254 15 Sep 08.

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