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China Evacuates 600,000 as Typhoon Strikes South

September 02, 2005|From Associated Press

SHANGHAI — Nearly 600,000 people were evacuated as Typhoon Talim plowed into southern China on Thursday, forcing authorities to shut down schools, highways and airports, officials said.

Despite waves up to 30 feet high, Fujian television said, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from Talim, which means sharp or cutting edge in the Tagalog language of the Philippines.

Talim hit in the coastal province of Fujian, the Hong Kong Observatory reported. The storm dipped to tropical storm status as it moved overland but still packed winds of 73 mph.

The official New China News Agency reported that 45 domestic flights and three international flights were canceled.

Fujian television showed high waves crashing against breakwaters in the fishing village of Ningde, about 320 miles from the commercial hub of Shanghai.

A truck carrying bushels of tomatoes was shown on its side, its load spilling over the roadway, while bicyclists took shelter from the wind behind the walls of buildings.

Talim left Taiwan's west coast earlier Thursday after its heavy winds and rains drowned an elderly man and injured 24 other people.

Damage from the storm was largely limited to fallen trees and signboards, although schools, offices and financial markets were closed in most of Taiwan.

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