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Fujian hit by strongest typhoon so far this year

[ 2010-09-21 13:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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Typhoon Fanapi, the strongest typhoon to hit China so far this year, struck East China's Fujian province and South China's Guangdong province on Monday, one day after slamming Taiwan with heavy rain, leaving more than 100 people injured on the island.

Fanapi made landfall at 7 am in Gulei town, in Fujian's Zhangzhou city, with peak wind gusts of 35 meters per second. Rainfall of more than 250 mm was predicted to hit parts of Fujian, as the typhoon moved inland at a speed of 20 km per hour, according to the Fujian provincial weather bureau.

The typhoon then entered eastern Guangdong at around 10 am after weakening to a tropical storm, according to the Guangdong provincial weather bureau.

Schools in Zhangzhou were closed on Monday and two primary schools were used to shelter construction workers.

"Gulei has more than 3,000 workers living in makeshift houses at construction sites. All of them have been relocated. About 2,600 are staying with local residents and 400 are taking shelter in the schools," said Chen Hanfu, Party secretary of Zhangpu county, which administers Gulei.

It was the first time that Tang Fudi, a migrant worker from the inland province of Sichuan, had encountered a typhoon. "It wasn't very scary," he said.

The rain was not as heavy in Gulei, but the waves that rolled in off the Taiwan Straits testified to the force of the strongest typhoon to hit Fujian so far this year.

The silver lining is that the heavy rainfall is greatly needed, as Zhangzhou enters the dry season with 470 local reservoirs only half full.

In Xiamen city, near Zhangzhou, kindergartens, primary and middle schools were all closed.

"With such strong wind and rain, it is difficult for adults to get around, let alone the kids, so it's better for them to stay at home," said Xiamen resident Yang Diwang.

Few people ventured out onto the streets on Monday morning, as the storm uprooted trees, ripped off tree branches and knocked over billboards.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Fujian hit by strongest typhoon so far this year

Fujian hit by strongest typhoon so far this year

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.