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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Five dead as typhoon hits China
Monks struggle with umbrellas in Shanghai - 19/09/07
Strong winds and rain hit Shanghai but did little damage
At least five people have been killed and three are missing after Typhoon Wipha hit China's densely-populated eastern coast, state media says.

Strong winds and heavy rain damaged thousands of homes and disrupted power to hundreds of communities.

Nearly three million people were evacuated ahead of the storm, which was predicted to be the worst in a decade.

However, Wipha rapidly lost strength after making landfall and caused little damage to the financial hub, Shanghai.

It is now moving northwards and is expected to head out into the Yellow Sea towards the Korean peninsula.

Return to normal

Five people were killed in landslides in Zhejiang province, the Ministry of Civil Affairs was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.

There were reports that a man in Shanghai had been killed after stepping in water electrically charged by a light box.

Typhoon animated guide

Nearly 10,000 homes had been destroyed and some 42,000 damaged as the storm passed over, Xinhua said. Nearly 2,000 communities were without power.

Thousands of hectares of farmland were also flooded, with the economic cost of the storm estimated to be at least 4.8bn yuan ($638m).

The eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shanghai had braced themselves for what forecasters had feared could escalate into the worst storm for a decade.

A total of 2.7 million people were moved from their homes to temporary shelters, flights grounded and schools and public buildings closed as the typhoon approached.

But fears that the region was facing a "super-typhoon" eased as Wipha was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall.

Shanghai, a city of 17 million people, escaped with little damage and was reported to be returning to normal on Thursday.

Wipha - a woman's name in Thai - had earlier brushed northern Taiwan, killing one person and injuring another.

The deadliest storm to hit the coast of China in recent years was Typhoon Winnie in 1997, which killed 236 people.





SEE ALSO
China rain storms claim 650 lives
30 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Death toll from China rains rises
22 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
360 killed in China rainy season
11 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: China
11 Aug 07 |  Country profiles

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