East China's Zhejiang battered by Typhoon Haikui

AP News
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Posted: Aug 08, 2012 1:47 AM
East China's Zhejiang battered by Typhoon Haikui

BEIJING (AP) — Typhoon Haikui slammed into eastern China's Zhejiang province early Wednesday, packing winds up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) per hour and triggering flooding.

More than 1.8 million people were evacuated ahead of the storm from parts of heavily populated Shanghai and neighboring Zhejiang, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Ships had also been ordered to port in preparation for Haikui, the third typhoon to hit China in less than a week.

The storm landed in Zhejiang's Hepu township in Xiangshan county before dawn Wednesday, triggering flooding that left at least 130 people stranded in rural areas, Xinhua said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The China Meteorological Administration had issued a red alert for Typhoon Haikui, the highest so far this year, and said it was expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds for 48 hours.

Shanghai, which has 23 million people and is the country's financial hub, banned all outdoor group activities, closed all city parks and suspended summer classes. It also stopped all outdoor construction.

The city relocated 252,000 residents and Zhejiang evacuated more than 1.5 million people, Xinhua said. It said earlier that more than 30,000 ships had been called back to shelter in ports.

China is still recovering from typhoons Damrey and Saola, which hit over the weekend. The flooding and landslides from those storms killed 23 people and left nine missing, Xinhua said Tuesday.

Saola battered Taiwan and the Philippines earlier and was blamed for about 60 deaths in the two countries.