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14 Dead, 900,000 Evacuated as Typhoon Sepat Lands
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More than 900,000 people in south and east China provinces have been relocated to safety before typhoon Sepat landed in Fujian Province on Sunday morning.


Sepat made a landfall in Hualien, the central-eastern part of Taiwan around 5:40 AM Saturday, with sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour, according to the China Central Meteorological Center.


Power cut for thousands of households and downpours were reported in many parts of the island.


The eye of Sepat moved northwest at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour and made a second landfall in Fujian at 2:00 AM on Sunday morning, the Fujian meteorological station said.

Two people were killed and one was missing in a landslide triggered by typhoon Sepat which landed in east China's Fujian Province early Sunday morning, said flood control authorities with the province on Sunday.


The three victims were in central Fujian's Minhou County, where torrential rains unleashed by Sepat triggered the landslide and tore down houses.


Downpour also lashed the Minqing County to the west of Fuzhou, Fujian's capital, where the Daruo train station collapsed, causing derailment of six carriages of a cargo train.


In east China's Zhejiang Province, 12 people were killed as a tornado hit, according to local sources on Sunday, bringing the death toll from typhoon Sepat to 14.


A gale belt of 800-meter broad and eight-kilometer long swept through the Longgang township, Cangnan County of Wenzhou City at about 11:30 PM Saturday from the sea, according to local meteorological bureau.


The tornado wrecked 156 houses. Sixty-two people were injured in the mishap, with eight described as "in serious condition".


Experts believe that the tornado was formed under the influence of typhoon Sepat that churned ashore in Chongwu town, Hui'an County of Fujian Province early Sunday morning.


The Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 3,000 tents to evacuated people in Fujian.

Passenger liners shuttling from Fujian to Taiwan have been suspended since Friday afternoon and it is undecided when services will resume.


In Zhejiang Province, nearly 300,000 people had been evacuated to safety and 27,704 vessels back to harbor by 6:00 PM Saturday.


In Guangdong, around 70,000 fishing farm workers on the sea, fishermen and residents in low-lying areas have been evacuated to safe areas.



The typhoon damaged 366 houses in Quanzhou City of Fujian, inundated 5,920 hectares of crops, cut off road traffic and power supply lines in some regions, affecting 162,600 people and inflicting an economic loss of 72 million yuan.


The typhoon also caused severe damages in Zhejiang, ruining 19,700 hectares of crops, wrecking 28.7 km of power supply lines and 22.1 km of dams, affecting 616,000 people across the province and resulting in a direct economic loss of 250 million yuan (US$32.9 million).


As it roars on, Sepat is expected to arrive at Jiangxi Province by Sunday but has weakened to strong tropical storm.




(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2007)

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