Typhoon Kalmaegi hits China, leaves 13 killed in Taiwan (Lead)

July 18th, 2008 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Fuzhou (China), July 18 (Xinhua) Tropical storm Kalmaegi hit China’s southeast coast Friday after causing severe devastation in Taiwan, leaving at least 13 dead and eight missing, officials said. The relatively weakened typhoon made landfall in Xiapu county in Fujian province Friday evening with winds of up to 90 km per hour, the provincial meteorological station said.

Before slamming into the Chinese coast, the storm claimed at least 13 lives in Taiwan after making landfall in the northeast coast of the island late Thursday.

Kalmaegi, the first typhoon to hit Taiwan this year, was relatively mild but caused flooding and crop damage in the island. It also forced the government to issue sear warnings around Taiwan.

Six people were injured and at least eight were still missing in the island and authorities said they were expecting the death toll to rise.

According to meteorological department in Fujian, 11 counties or cities in the province has received 50-100 mm precipitation till Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the provincial educational department issued an order to close all schools until the storm weakens completely. It was forecast to continue moving towards northwest.

Neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces and Shanghai were also warning of rainstorms and strong gales brought by the storm.

Fujian and Zhejiang evacuated 360,000 people and called 61,000 fishing vessels back to harbour ahead of the storm’s landfall.

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