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    » 08/04/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Typhoons Saola and Damrey hit China, two dead and 800 thousand displaced



    After 12 hours the two typhoons hit 10 provinces of the east coast. Worst damage in the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, where two people died. Thousands of homes destroyed, tens of thousands more have suffered serious damage. Premier Wen Jiabao warns: focus on disaster prevention.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 800 thousand displaced people, forced to flee their homes after the devastating passage of two typhoons that hit -  12 hours apart from each other - at least 10 provinces of the east coast of China. Damrey and Saola caused two deaths and damaged thousands of homes. Meanwhile, experts warn that in the coming days, the area will be affected by more heavy rains that may cause additional damage. In recent days bad weather also invested the capital, officialy killing at least 78 people (but the number could be much higher) and exposing the backwardness of the sewerage system in Beijing. The incident sparked a furious protest on the web, barely contained by the authorities and government propaganda (see AsiaNews 26/07/2012 As flood deaths increase in Beijing, so does government propaganda).

    For meteorologists, typhoon Damrey - from 1949 to today the most powerful to have hit north of the Yangtze River - will arrive in Beijing, still struggling with the flood emergency. However, it has already caused - along with Tropical Storm Saola, which had previously hit Taiwan and the Philippines, killing at least 40 people - 867 thousand displaced in 10 provinces bordering on the east coast, the most affected are the Jiangsu and Shandong.

    The two victims are native of Shandong, where at least one thousand houses have collapsed and 23 thousand others suffered serious damage. In Jiangsu, a hundred houses collapsed and about 2,800 were damaged. The China Meteorological Department (CMD) reports that from 1949 to date there was a similar event in only two cases, with two typhoons in quick succession - 12 hours apart- they to hit the same area. It was in 2006 when Saomai and Bopha hit to 24 hours apart from each other.

    Damrey and Saola were downgraded to a tropical storm overnight and took different directions, the first to the north and the second to the west. However, Premier Wen Jiabao on a visit to Hubei Province issued a warning to officials and city governments, to improve the sewage system - chiefly responsible for the disaster in Beijing - and flood prevention systems. "We need to really learn from these experiences," said the Prime Minister in a press briefing.

     

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    See also

    11/07/2005 CHINA
    Flooding continues in southern China
    Torrential rains kill 29 people in the city of Dazhou, forcing the evacuation of 250,000.

    31/08/2009 TAIWAN – TIBET – CHINA
    Dalai Lama visits survivors in areas destroyed by typhoon Morakot
    Mainland China insists the visit will have negative repercussions on relations between the two countries. But Tibet’s spiritual leader says all he wants to do is to bring comfort to the population. A priest in the affected area tells AsiaNews about the typhoon’s impact and the difficult work getting things back to normal.

    08/10/2009 JAPAN
    Typhoon Melora kills three people in Honshu
    Melora ("Jasmine") has halted air and rail transport. Millions Blocked. In the capital, roads flooded or blocked; neighbourhoods without electricity. Dozens of wounded.

    01/10/2009 VIETNAM
    Almost 400 deaths in SE Asia from Ketsana as new typhoon moves towards the Philippines
    In Vietnam, toll now stands at 101 dead and 170,000 homeless. Central provinces are hardest hit. Catholic Church begins fund raising and aid collection for affected population. In Philippines, authorities sound the alarm for Parma, an even more devastating storm that is fast approaching.

    21/06/2010 CHINA
    Floods bring South China to its knees, 197 dead and 93 missing
    Currently over one million people evacuated in the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, and Guangxi. According to the National Meteorological Centre in the coming days, the rainfall could reach 200 mm, worsening the effect of flooding. Expected damages up to 1.7 billion euros.



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