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63 Die, Hundreds Hurt as Typhoon Strikes China

August 13, 2004|From Associated Press

SHANGHAI — Typhoon Rananim slammed into China's southeastern coast late Thursday, killing 63 people and injuring more than 1,800, official media reported.

An additional 15 people were missing south of Shanghai in Zhejiang province, where the storm roared ashore, the website of the People's Daily newspaper reported, along with other news outlets.

Power in the major city of Taizhou was knocked out and millions of people lost water and phone service, the reports said. They didn't cite any source for the information but gave identical casualty figures.

Many of the injuries were caused by collapsing homes, they said.

In Taiwan, the government opened the floodgates of the Shihmen Reservoir, the island's biggest, to release excess water. Authorities urged residents downstream to evacuate if necessary.

Earlier Thursday, about 300,000 people reportedly were evacuated from low-lying coastal areas as the typhoon approached.

The storm hit the coastal city of Wenling at 8 p.m., the official New China News Agency reported.

The area is about 90 miles south of China's commercial hub of Shanghai, where strong winds blew all day Thursday.

Rananim was packing sustained winds of 87 mph and gusts of up to 109 mph. High winds and torrential rains were expected as far as 150 miles away from its center.

Rananim means "hello" in the Chuukese language spoken in Micronesia.

The storm's fringe brushed over Taiwan's northeastern tip Thursday, killing a road worker.

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