More than 400,000 people evacuated as tropical storm hits China

FUZHOU, China, July 9 (UPI) — Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated along the east of China after tropical storm Nepartak made landfall on Saturday.

The storm, which started as a strong typhoon but weakened after devastating Taiwan, made landfall in Shishi City at 1:45 p.m. local time on Saturday bringing 62-mph winds.

“As anticipated, Taiwan’s mountainous terrain weakened Nepartak considerably,” Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman said. “However, regardless of its intensity, heavy rainfall will continue to be a concern in Taiwan and southeast China, likely triggering areas of flooding into the weekend.”

About 420,000 people were urged to evacuate and multiple modes of transportation were shut down including five airports, 341 high-speed trains and almost 5,000 buses.

China’s State Oceanic Administration issued the first red alert of the year, estimating wave heights up to 30 feet in Taiwan Strait.

Local flood headquarters said that more than 22,600 people have been dispatched to check the city’s water projects.

China suffered 160 deaths and 28 people went missing in other heavy rains and floods in the weeks before the storm arrived.

Two people died and 72 more were injured when the storm touched down in Taiwan the day before. The storm also caused about $24 million in agricultural damage, left 545,696 households without electricity and damaged seven provincial highways.

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