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Over 8.65 lakh people evacuated as ‘Chan-Hom’ approaches China


Beijing: More than 8.65 lakh people in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang have been evacuated and over 28,000 ships recalled as super typhoon Chan-Hom, the second typhoon to hit China in two days, approaches the country.

According to the provincial flood, typhoon and drought headquarters, a total of 28,764 ships had been recalled to port as of 10 PM yesterday, and several cities were already reporting heavy rains and strong gales.

The National Meteorological Centre (NMC) had yesterday issued a red alert, the highest level, for the super typhoon, whose centre was located 235 kilometres southeast of Zhejiang in the East China Sea. The typhoon, moving northwestward at a speed of 20 km per hour, is due to make landfall somewhere between Rui’an and Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province by noon today.

When the typhoon hits land, the wind speed at the centre of the typhoon is expected to top 58 metres per second, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The NMC said Chan-Hom could be the strongest typhoon to land in Zhejiang since 1949.

The storm has disrupted traffic, and direct-shipping routes to Taiwan from Zhejiang have been suspended since Thursday. About 100 flights were cancelled yesterday and some long-distance bus and train services also stood suspended.

The typhoon has brought rains and strong gales to Zhejiang’s coastal areas. Waves as tall as 10 m were observed in the sea off the coast.

“The typhoon seems very powerful. We have sealed all our windows and doors and have stocked up on food,” said Liu Yimin, from the coastal village of Huagang.

Meanwhile, all of the Wenzhou City government’s 53,000 flood control staff will be on stand-by over the weekend.

The Fujian provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters had ordered all residents of coastal fishing farms in Ningde, Fuzhou, Pingtan and Putian to evacuate by 10 AM yesterday.

Shanghai also issued a typhoon alert yesterday, warning of gales starting last afternoon and heavy rains today. Residents have been relocated and outdoor group activities have be cancelled.

Typhoon Linfa made landfall on Thursday in the southern province of Guangdong, bringing torrential rain to the coast.

No casualties have been reported.

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