Asia

China evacuations as Typhoon Soulik hits

  • 13 July 2013
  • From the section Asia

Some 300,000 people in eastern China have fled their homes as Typhoon Soulik moves inland amid warnings of floods and landslides, state media report.

Winds of 119 km/hour (74 mph) lashed the coastal Fujian Province, said China's National Meteorological Centre.

Emergency response plans were being implemented, said Xinhua state media, after recent torrential rain reportedly left 200 people dead or missing.

The typhoon earlier led to extensive flooding on the island of Taiwan.

So far one person is reported to have been killed on the island, while more than 8,500 people were evacuated from mountainous and other areas prone to landslides.

Blown off scooters

Image caption Soulik is bringing heavy rain and strong waves to China

In Fujian and Zhejiang, another Chinese coastal province, flights and train services were cancelled and fishing boats called back to shore.

In Taiwan, a police officer was killed by falling bricks but other people suffered mostly light injuries, including from fallen trees or being blown off their scooters.

The strong winds and heavy rain have caused electricity disruptions, a run on food and essential supplies in supermarkets, and uprooted trees and signs in some areas.

Soulik was the first typhoon to hit Taiwan this year and there had been fears of major damage because the island was the first place it made landfall, reports the BBC's Cindy Sui in the capital Taipei: Nearly 50,000 soldiers were put on standby.

Typhoons are common during the summer in parts of East Asia, where the warm moist air and low pressure conditions enable tropical cyclones to form.

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