News / Asia

    Taiwan, Eastern China on Typhoon Alert

    Rescuers move children to an evacuation center at Malabon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Aug. 1, 2012.
    Rescuers move children to an evacuation center at Malabon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Aug. 1, 2012.
    Taiwan and eastern China are on alert for two typhoons expected to bring torrential rain and flooding to many communities in the coming days. Elsewhere in the region, heavy downpours caused deadly floods and mudslides in the Philippines, North Korea, Indonesia and China's west.
     
    Authorities in Taiwan are bracing for the arrival of Typhoon Saola, evacuating hundreds of people from low-lying communities and warning of at least one meter of rain. The storm has already triggered landslides that cut off roads and forced the cancelation of flights at Taipei's international airport. 
     
    Typhoons Head to East China
     
    Saola is expected to skirt the island's tip on Thursday before heading into China's eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang by Friday. Another storm, Typhoon Damrey, is moving toward the Chinese provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong to the north, with landfall also expected by Friday.
     
    • A rescue boat sails through a flooded street in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, North Korea, July 30, 2012.
    • A boat goes pass a flooded street in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, in North Korea, July 30, 2012.
    • Residents wait on the roof of a flooded building in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, North Korea, July 30, 2012.
    • Residents wait on the roof of a flooded building in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, North Korea, July 30, 2012.
    • Residents wait on the roof of a flooded building in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, North Korea, July 30, 2012.
    • Houses are submerged in a flood water in Anju City, South Phyongan Province, North Korea, July 30, 2012.

    Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao told authorities in all four eastern regions to step up preparations for the typhoons and to make people's safety a priority. China's Communist rulers have been facing strong public criticism over their response to floods that killed dozens of people in Beijing last month.
     
    Saola Batters Philippines
     
    The outer rainbands of Typhoon Saola brought more floods and landslides to the Philippines. Since Sunday, the storm has killed at least 14 people in the archipelago and forced 150,000 people to flee their homes. Huge waves swept over sea walls in parts of the capital, Manila, on Wednesday, flooding entire neighborhoods and prompting a shutdown of the U.S. embassy.
     
    Xinjiang Mudslide Kills Miners 
     
    In China's western region of Xinjiang, authorities reported more deaths from a rainstorm-induced mudslide that buried a shed housing miners and their family members Tuesday. Rescuers have recovered 18 bodies from the shed; 10 people are still missing but emergency personnel say their chances of survival are slim.
     
    More Flood Deaths in North Korea
     
    North Korea's official news agency KCNA said heavy rains that hit central parts of the country on Sunday and Monday killed at least 31 people and left another 16 missing. KCNA already had reported 88 deaths from earlier rainstorms that also left tens of thousands homeless and damaged farmland.
     
    The International Committee of the Red Cross said a team it sent to the worst-hit areas found people in desperate need of clean drinking water, food and other supplies. Deforestation has left many parts of the country prone to flooding.
     
    Deadly Storms Hit Indonesia's Maluku
     
    In Indonesia's eastern province of Maluku, authorities said eight people were killed in floods and landslides sparked by torrential rain on Wednesday. Several people were reported missing.
     
    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

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