View Full Version : Biggest Typhoon in Years Batters China Island

09-25-2005, 09:00 PM
Biggest typhoon in 30 years batters China island


Sep 25, 11:29 PM (ET)

BEIJING (Reuters) - A typhoon roared across China's southern Hainan on Monday, the strongest storm to hit the tropical resort island in more than 30 years, and forced more than 170,000 people to flee their homes.

Typhoon Damrey had caused "casualties," flattened houses and damaged crops on an island often referred to as China's Hawaii since it made landfall on Sunday, but the full extent of the destruction was unknown, a disaster relief official said.

"The primary threat now is strong winds, but judging from our experience in recent years, river floods are also possible if the heavy rains continue," he told Reuters by telephone.

He gave no details of the casualties and there was no immediate word of damage to hotels. But he said 170,000 people had been evacuated to safety.

"Some tourists who have reserved rooms cannot check in because of the weather and those already in the hotel cannot leave," said Melody Xu, public relations manager for the Sheraton Hotel in the beach resort of Sanya.

"The hotel is on back-up power. Some rooms have no power and the computer system is down, so I really have no idea of how full the hotel is now... We hope the storm will be over after dinner tonight and the guests can leave then, but it shows no sign of weakening so far."

The west-moving typhoon was expected to sweep the island throughout Monday and then head for Vietnam, south of the capital, Hanoi. Experts warned that rice, rubber and banana crops could suffer major damage.

In far southern Guangdong province, one fisherman was missing after three boats capsized in choppy seas, the China Daily said.

A ferry connecting Guangdong and Hainan had been suspended since Friday, and some parts of Hong Kong's Disneyland had been shut, the Beijing News reported.

The storm was packing winds of 200 km (125 miles) per hour, Xinhua news agency said, making it comparable to Hurricane Rita, which slammed into the Texas-Louisiana coast on Saturday, causing flooding but largely sparing the U.S. region's refineries.

"The typhoon, with the wind speed of 55 meters per second at the center, dwarfed all those that had hit Hainan since 1960," apart from a storm that struck the province on September 13, 1973, it quoted Cai Qinbo, deputy director of the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Station, as saying.

Since the 1980s, Hainan, with a population of 8 million, has been a Special Economic Zone of China and is notorious for a series of construction scandals in the 1990s. It has also played host to two Miss World finals.

Typhoons, known as hurricanes in the West, gather strength from warm sea water and tend to dissipate after making landfall.

They frequently hit Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and southern China during a season that lasts from early summer to late autumn.

At the beginning of this month, Typhoon Talim killed 56 people in eastern China after unleashing torrential rain and triggering floods and landslides.

05-19-2006, 03:34 PM
Updated: 06:29 PM EDT

150 Fishermen Missing After Asia Typhoon


HANOI, Vietnam (May 19) - At least 150 Vietnamese fishermen were missing at sea and another 28 were found dead after their boats presumably sank during Typhoon Chanchu, a border official said Friday.

Chang Hajun, UPPA / ZUMA Press
A powerful typhoon named Chanchu flooded this street in Xiamen, China. The Asia-wide death toll from Chanchu has reached 91, including 37 in the Philippines and the latest 28 in Vietnam.

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A total of 11 boats carrying 221 fishermen from the central city of Danang sank during the typhoon, and at least some of the men were unaccounted for, said Nguyen Ba Luong, a border control officer.

It was unclear when the boats sank, but their last communication was around noon Wednesday, Luong said.

On Friday, 60 people were pulled from the water alive and 24 were found dead, he said. It was unclear whether they had been on the 11 boats that sank.

The survivors were located somewhere between Taiwan and the Philippines and have made contact with authorities.

In a separate incident, another group of fishermen from Quang Ngai province also got into trouble during the storm. Four bodies were pulled from the water, while one person was found alive.

The search continued for 22 others still missing after their boats sank in Chinese waters, said Nguyen Sau of the Quang Ngai border control.

"If they have lifeboats, the possibility of them being alive and rescued is higher," Sau said of the missing, adding that the weather has improved but the sea was still rough.

Vietnam has asked China to help search for the missing, and to allow the Vietnamese fishermen to patrol area to look for survivors, Sau said.

Chanchu cut a path of destruction across several countries and territories around the South China Sea since rising to typhoon strength and tearing through the Philippines last weekend.

The Asia-wide death toll from Chanchu has reached 91, including 37 in the Philippines and the latest 28 in Vietnam.

Chanchu was downgraded to a tropical storm as it reached China's heavily populated southern coast Thursday but was still powerful enough to cause landslides and flooding, forcing the evacuation of more than 1 million people.

Nearly 100,000 ships were ordered to return to harbor, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Storm-induced landslides and building collapses killed 15 people in Fujian province and left four missing, the provincial Water Resources Department said on its Web site.

Eight more died in neighboring Guangdong province, it said, including a boy and girl and their 68-year-old grandfather, all crushed when their home collapsed.

Fujian estimated storm damage at $480 million. There was no immediate word on damage estimates in Guangdong.

In Taiwan, two women were swept to their deaths by floods in the southern region of Pingtung.

High waves also swept away three 17-year-old male students swimming in Japan's southern Okinawa island chain, leaving one dead and another missing, said coast guard spokesman Shoji Kawabata. The third was rescued.

The storm was headed toward northern Japan on Friday and was expected to weaken but bring heavy rain and possible flooding.

Associated Press reporter Christopher Bodeen in Shanghai, China, contributed to this report.

05/19/06 15:44 EDT