Typhoon Chanchu Hits China Coast

May 18, 2006

Typhoon Chanchu came ashore on the Southern coast of the Chinese mainland early this morning, May 18, local time. The powerful storm, packing winds in excess of 100 mph (168 kph), has reportedly caused 11 deaths and triggered the evacuation of over 1 million coastal residents. At least 27 Vietnamese fishermen are also reported missing and feared lost when their boats were sunk by the typhoon, according to reports from the Associated Press.

High winds, heavy rains and flooding hit Fujian and Guangdong province, downing power lines and stalling road and rail transport. Chanchu is reportedly moving up the coast at around 20-mph (33 kph). The storm has lost some strength as it passes over land, and has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Guangdong province, north of Hong Kong, is home to some 91 million people and is one of the locomotives of China’s expanding economy. Unlike some areas of the country it has a well-developed infrastructure and is home to a number of manufacturing plants and commercial enterprises, which could result in higher insured losses.

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