Storm left by super typhoon Nepartak hits China, disrupts transport

SHANGHAI - A storm bringing heavy rain to disrupt rail travel in southeast China was all that remained on Saturday of super typhoon Nepartak, which had weakened rapidly after causing several deaths in Taiwan and damage of more than US$20 million (S$26.9 million).

The storm hit land in Fujian province just before 2 p.m., lashing Shishi city with winds of around 100 kph (62 mph), state news agency Xinhua said.

More than 100 trains had to be cancelled after 250 mm (10 inches) of rain fell in about four hours in the nearby city of Putian, where nearly 23,000 people have fanned out to check the overstrained waterworks, it added.

Tropical Storm Risk had rated the typhoon as category 5, at the top of its scale, but it weakened after crossing Taiwan and hit China's Fujian province as a tropical storm.

In Taiwan the storm caused at least three deaths and more than 300 injuries.

The storm is expected to worsen already severe flooding in parts of central and eastern China, particularly in the major city of Wuhan.

Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength over warm waters and dissipating over land.

Typhoons used to kill many people in China but the government now enforces evacuations and takes precautions well in advance, which has helped save many lives.

In 2009, Typhoon Morakot cut a wide swathe of destruction through southern Taiwan, killing about 700 people and causing damages of up to US$3 billion (S$4.04 billion).