Tropical Storm Hits China's SE Coast

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Tropical storm Fengshen lashed southern China on Wednesday with heavy rains and strong winds, bringing new misery to a region already struggling to recover from this month's deadly floods.

Fengshen, which killed hundreds in the Philippines as a typhoon, made landfall Wednesday morning with winds of up to 51 miles per hour in the economic zone of Shenzhen, whose meteorological station forecast heavy rains of up to nearly 8 inches Wednesday and Thursday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Flooding in China's southeast earlier this month killed at least 63 people, forced the evacuation of at least 1.66 million and caused billions of dollars in damage in a region anchored by the country's manufacturing capital, the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province.

In Hong Kong, the storm injured at least 17 people and flooded at least 38 areas across the city, officials said.

Flood control authorities in Shenzhen told Xinhua no deaths had been reported as of 8 a.m. Meteorologists in the region said the storm was expected to weaken as it moved north and further inland.

Both Shenzhen and Hong Kong stopped school classes Wednesday, and more than 13,000 ships in Guangdong province came back to harbor before the storm made landfall, Xinhua reported.

The storm also shut down Hong Kong's financial markets and courts.

The storm's heavy rains will also affect the provinces of Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Hunan, Xinhua reported the China Central Meteorological Station as saying.

Fengshen left more than 800 passengers and crew missing in the Philippines this week after the typhoon capsized a ferry. Only four dozen survivors have been found. The storm's toll on shore in the Philippines included 227 dead and 275 missing in the worst-hit region, with dozens reported killed elsewhere by floods and landslides.

China has paid little attention to this month's flooding in its southern region, focusing instead on relief for last month's earthquake in central Sichuan Province. The death toll from that disaster is expected to pass 80,000, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu said Tuesday.


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