Typhoon Fitow slams into China

Typhoon Fitow slams into China

BEIJING - Typhoon Fitow barrelled into China's east coast early Monday, packing winds of more than 200 kilometres an hour after hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated, state media reported.

At least two people were reported killed, both near Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, the state news agency Xinhua said.

Parts of Zhejiang, which neighbours the commercial hub Shanghai, saw nearly 29 centimetres (11 inches) of rain over 17 hours from Sunday to early Monday, while areas in Fujian to the south saw up to 16 centimetres, the official China News Service said.

In the hard-hit Cangnan county in Wenzhou, more than 1,200 homes collapsed and damages amounted to hundreds of millions of yuan, China National Radio said.

One of the victims, 55-year-old Ni Wenlin, died "after strong wind blew him off a hill" late Sunday, Xinhua said, citing municipal flood control authorities.

In Fujian the typhoon broke electricity poles in half, leaving power lines on the ground, and bent iron roadsigns out of shape, CNR reported.

In the coastal city of Ningde, a village leader told the Beijing Times that huge waves had damaged a 200-hectare (490-acre) seaweed farm, which nearly 100 families depended on for their livelihood.

The typhoon "broke the bamboo poles holding the seaweed in place", said Lin Fangqin.

The storm is expected to move northwest but "weaken quickly", Xinhua said on Monday, citing the National Meteorological Centre (NMC).

Authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people and issued China's highest alert on Sunday as Fitow approached the mainland.

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