500,000 in China dodge typhoon
EASTERN China yesterday braced itself for torrential downpours from typhoon Soulik, which forced the evacuation of half a million people after killing two in Taiwan.
Soulik lashed coastal Fujian province with winds of 118kmh when it made landfall, but had weakened to a tropical depression as it moved inland, the China Meteorological Administration said.
More than half a million people were evacuated from Fujian and neighbouring Zhejiang as the typhoon approached, with 5,500 soldiers deployed to carry out relief work.
Xinhua news agency said almost 31,000 ships were called back to port and 20 flights cancelled.
Soulik brought torrential rain to Xiamen, with 24cm of rain falling on the port city from last Saturday to yesterday.
Rivers swelled beyond warning levels in some areas, and waves up to 10m tall pounded sea defences in Ningde city.
In Taiwan, two people were killed, one went missing and 104 were injured by the storm, with one town reporting widespread landslides and flood waters a storey tall.
The northern village of Bailan saw the heaviest rain, with 90cm falling in 48 hours and winds gusting up to 220kmh.
Thousands of soldiers and workers spent yesterday cleaning up, with hundreds of fallen trees being removed in Taiwan's capital of Taipei.