Typhoon Kalmaegi hits China after killing 13 in Taiwan

Beijing/Taipei_(dpa) _ Typhoon Kalmaegi landed on China’s southeast coast Friday afternoon after causing severe destruction in Taiwan, leaving at least 13 people dead, eight missing and eight injured.

Kalmaegi landed on China’s Fujian Province at about 5:50 pm (0950 GMT), after having weakened into a tropical storm while crossing the Taiwan Strait.

The storm brought strong winds and downpour to Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, as well as to other cities in the province and nearby Zhejiang Province.

Kalmaegi, the seventh tropical storm to affect China this year, was also expected to affect Shanghai Saturday.

Flood control, offshore fishing and marine authorities in Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai sent out warnings to all vessels to return to port.

Some 200,000 residents in Fujian were evacauted from coastal and low-lying ares, while 30,000 vessels returned to ports, press reports said.

Among victims in Taiwan, an army officer slipped into a ditch and died while inspecting the barracks in Taichung county, press reports said.

In Tainan County, a boy and a girl were buried under a collapsed house during a landslide, while a couple drowned when they fell from a rescue boat into a flooded river.

The death toll was expected to rise because several people swept away by flood water were still listed as missing.

President Ma Ying-jeou cut short his physical checkup at a Taipei hospital to visit the disaster centre in Hsintien, near Taipei, to help coordinate the rescue effort and assess damage.

According to the Council of Agriculture, Typhoon Kalmaegi caused losses of 300 million Taiwan dollars (10 million US dollars) as about 5,100 hectares of crops and orchards were inundated.

Kalmaegi began to approach southeast Taiwan Wednesday and moved up north along the east coast, dumping 400 to 1,000 millimetres of rain on southern and central Taiwan.

The downpour, reportedly the worst in a decade, caused landslides and flooding in mountainous regions in central and southern Taiwan and left some city streets flooded knee-deep. dpa dc lw sc

Copyright (c) dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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