People save cultured mudskippers at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province, Aug. 9, 2009.
Typhoon "Morakot" landed in Fujian Province Sunday afternoon.
FUZHOU, Aug. 9 -- At least one child was killed and millions were affected as typhoon Morakot slammed into Chinese provinces on the eastern coast on Sunday, destroying houses and inundating farmlands.
Morakot landed in the coastal areas of Beibi Town, Xiapu County in Fujian Province, at 4:20 p.m., packing winds up to 118.8 kilometers per hour in its eye, the province's meteorological bureau said.
The sky turned completely dark in Beibi and people caught in rainstorms staggered with flashlights on. Many trees were uprooted, with some even breaking apart in strong winds.
Farmers were trying to recapture a sizeable quantity of fish flushed from mudflat aqua farms by uprising waves.
In Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, 34 domestic flights were cancelled and 20 delayed because of unfavorable weather conditions. The city also suspended most passenger bus services.
In Zhejiang Province, more than 3.4 million people were affected as hundreds of villages were flooded and more than 1,800 houses collapsed, according to the Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
A woman saves cultured mudskippers at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province, Aug. 9, 2009.
A total of 155 passenger ships were cancelled and more than 7,400 vessels were called back from the sea as the province's maritime authority raised the typhoon alarm to a red alert, its highest level, Sunday morning.
The economic loss was estimated at 2.2 billion yuan (322 million U.S. dollars) as 143,000 hectares of farmland were damaged and nearly 9,000 enterprises suspended production.
The front of the eighth typhoon of the year had previously triggered continuous downpours and strong winds in Fujian and its neighboring Zhejiang Province before its landing, which forced the evacuation of nearly one million people to safety.
Five houses were destroyed as the front of the typhoon brought rainfall of 700 mm to Wenzhou City in Zhejiang just after 8 a.m. Sunday.
Three adults and a 4-year-old boy were buried in debris about 8:20 a.m. as the torrential rain brought the five houses down. The child later died after emergency treatment failed, the city's flood-control headquarters said.
More than 300 houses had collapsed, and 16,200 hectares of farmland were inundated. The city's airport was closed and 56 roads were cut off by rainstorms.
Armed policemen work as rescuers at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province, Aug. 9, 2009.Armed policemen work as rescuers at Hongshan Village in Xiapu County, southeast China's Fujian Province, Aug. 9, 2009.
The National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast that violent rainstorms would come along with Morakot to hit southern parts of Jiangsu, southeastern areas in Anhui, northeastern areas of Jiangxi, Shanghai, most parts of Zhejiang and Fujian, and Taiwan, from Sunday night to Monday.
The center issued the highest alert at 6 p.m. in response to expected rainstorms in these regions. It advised people to suspend work in the outside field and urged relevant governments to reinforce drainage of rain water in cities and villages while watching against disasters like flooding, landslides, and mud-rock flows.
The center also warned of possible flooding along waters near the Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province, as downpour in the region could reach 100 to 130 mm.
NMC experts said Typhoon Marakot could remain very powerful for some time, and advised people in areas under its influence to stay at safe places and hide away from strong winds.
The shipping service between Xiamen City in Fujian and Jinmen in Taiwan which was closed Friday and stranded about 8,000 passengers, will be resumed Monday morning, local officials said.
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