Disasters & Accidents

Over 294,000 evacuated as Typhoon Haikui causes widespread damage in southeast China

Beijing, Sep 7 (EFE).- Typhoon Haikui has led to the temporary evacuation of around 294,000 people in China’s southeastern Fujian province, where it has caused severe damage to infrastructure and agriculture, officials said Thursday

Provincial authorities told state news agency Xinhua that the typhoon has affected nearly 1.6 million people in the province since making landfall on Tuesday. At least two people have been killed so far by the storm.

On Wednesday, Xinhua had reported that two firefighters were killed after their vehicle was swept away by floods in the Chili village, situated in Fujian’s Yongtai district, while six others had been rescued and one remained missing.

Crops spread over nearly 10,000 hectares have been destroyed while over 2,500 houses have been partially or fully damaged, causing direct economic losses of 5.05 billion yuan ($689 million).

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 65 localities received over 250 millimeters of rain, with the city of Gaishan being lashed with the highest 548.9 mm precipitation, which broke the local record established during the Longwang typhoon in 2005.

Nearly 60,000 personnel had been mobilized for taking part in emergency operations by 8 pm on Wednesday.

Meteorologist Huang Zhigang told Xinhua that torrential rains were expected to continue in some areas of Fujian for the next two days, increasing the risk of landslides, river floods and other mishaps.

Local authorities said Wednesday that 49 out of the 420 dams in the municipal area of Fuzhou – Fujian’s capital – had been filled beyond capacity, and that 80 spots in the city had been hit by serious floods, with water levels rising to above 1.4 meters above the ground.

According to statistics released by China’s Ministry of Emergency Management on Wednesday, 8.8 million people were affected in the country by natural disasters in August, including 168 people who died or went missing and 547,000 who were displaced. EFE


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