500,000 Flee Chinese Coast As Storm Nears
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Severe Tropical Storm Kaemi, weakening from a typhoon, landed in eastern China’s coastal province of Fujian after pounding Taiwan on Monday night, prompting local authorities to evacuate almost half a million people.
The storm, the fifth to hit China this year, landed at Jinjiang city in Fujian at 3:50 p.m. local time yesterday, packing winds with speed of 119 kilometers an hour, the provincial meteorological bureau’s Web site said.
Kaemi’s center left Taiwan by dawn this morning, having disrupted the island’s travel networks and injured four people. No major damage was reported apart from minor blackouts affecting about 30,000 households, Taiwan Central News Agency reported on its Web site. The island’s stock exchange and other financial markets opened as normal yesterday.
China is still counting its dead from Tropical Storm Bilis, which swept through five provinces including Fujian less than two weeks ago, leaving at least 612 people dead. Another 208 are still missing and more than 3 million had to be evacuated, according to Xinhua. Damage in Guangdong province alone, near Hong Kong, totaled $1.65 billion, the state-run news agency said.
In preparation for this storm, more than 435,000 people in China have been evacuated to safe ground and 44,000 shipping vessels called back to harbor as of 9 a.m., according to Xinhua. Kaemi, which means “ant” in Korean, is forecast to remain over Fujian for around 24 hours before reaching the neighboring province of Jiangxi, the news agency said, citing a local meteorologist.