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Typhoon lands in China, but skirts Shanghai

08 august 2012, 16:12
0
Chinese rescuers help evacuate residents from their homes. ©AFP
Chinese rescuers help evacuate residents from their homes. ©AFP
China's third typhoon in a week ploughed into its eastern coast on Wednesday, halting transport in the financial capital of Shanghai and toppling houses in some rural areas, AFP reports citing state media.

Typhoon Haikui made landfall early on Wednesday morning in Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, after authorities moved more than one million people out of the path of the storm, reports said.

The typhoon quickly weakened after landing south of Ningbo city, the China Meteorological Administration said, but warned that Haikui was still packing winds of up to 144 kilometres (89 miles) per hour.

In Sanmen county, near where Haikui made landfall, the typhoon toppled four houses and cut off power to nearly 100 villages, state media said.

Reports of damage and possible casualties have yet to be released by the government.

Shanghai avoided a direct hit by the typhoon, but officials warned the biggest impact might be from rainfall later on Wednesday as the typhoon moved northwest.

The Shanghai stock market opened for trading as usual, but flights at the city's two airports remained halted and some long-distance train services were suspended, reports said.

Traffic on Shanghai's streets continued to move at reduced speed but was noticeably lighter as companies had the option of allowing employees to remain home while the current typhoon signal remained in effect.

"The biggest influence of Haikui should occur today with large gales and heavy downpours," Xu Ming, a researcher with the city's weather bureau, told the Shanghai Daily.

Shanghai officials had previously feared the storm could be the worst since 2005, when Typhoon Matsa killed seven people in the city, and had moved 374,000 people to emergency shelters.

Shanghai had raised its orange typhoon signal -- the second most severe -- and ordered the closure of construction sites and public parks.

The typhoon is the third to hit China in a week, after two battered other parts of the country over the weekend, killing 23 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Typhoon Saola left 14 dead in the central province of Hubei while nine people were killed in the northeastern province of Liaoning after Typhoon Damrey struck, it said.

China is hit annually by typhoons in the summer, which normally affect its eastern and southern regions.

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