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SHAKE AND BLOW
Taiwan battens down for Typhoon Matmo
by Staff Writers
Yilan, Taiwan (AFP) July 22, 2014


Vietnam says extreme weather linked to typhoon kills 27
Hanoi (AFP) July 22, 2014 - Extreme weather caused by Typhoon Rammasun has killed 27 people in Vietnam, with the storm unleashing flash floods, landslides and lightning strikes, authorities said Tuesday.

Heavy rain flooded 7,200 houses and 4,200 hectares (10,300 acres) of cropland, with the north of the country worst hit, the national flood and storm control committee said.

The cost of the damage was estimated at around $6 million.

Rammasun -- meaning "Thunder God" in Thai -- had earlier barrelled through the Philippines and then hit southern China, killing more than 100 people and wrecking over 111,000 homes.

It was the most powerful storm to strike China's southern areas since 1973, the country's National Meteorological Center said, and brought torrential rains.

The typhoon then weakened into a low-pressure area as it tracked along the China-Vietnam border.

In 2013 Vietnam was hit by 15 storms including Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 313 people and caused an estimated $1.4 billion worth of damage, according to the authorities.

China storm death toll rises to 46, as Typhoon Matmo nears
Beijing (AFP) July 22, 2014 - The death toll from the strongest storm to hit China for decades has reached 46 with another 25 missing, authorities said Tuesday, as another typhoon approaches the country's eastern coastline.

Typhoon Rammasun has left 19 people dead in south China's island province of Hainan, 18 in southwestern Yunnan and nine in neighbouring Guangxi, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement on its website.

Over 620,000 people have been relocated and some 252,000 are in need of "emergency aid", the statement said.

A total of 37,000 houses have been destroyed since the storm first made landfall in China on Friday afternoon as a super typhoon, packing winds exceeding 200 kilometres (124 miles) an hour.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs early Wednesday morning said 33 people had died in the storm.

The strongest typhoon to hit south China since 1973 also caused devastation in the southern Guangdong province.

Rammasun -- meaning "Thunder God" in Thai -- has caused more than 120 deaths in the Philippines and Vietnam, authorities there say.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Matmo was expected to make a landfall on China's eastern coast on Wednesday, the National Meteorological Centre (NMC) said.

Matmo is packing gusts of up to 173 kilometres per hour (107mph) and is forecasted to first hit Taiwan early Wednesday before heading west to China from the afternoon to evening.

It is expected by the NMC to make landfall in Fujian and Zhejiang, before heading north.

Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan with fierce winds and downpours Wednesday, leaving nine people injured, shuttering financial markets, and interrupting rail and air transportation.

Matmo, packing gusts of up to 173 kilometres (107 miles) per hour, slammed into the east overnight, becoming the first tropical storm to make landfall on the island this year, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The storm's powerful winds tore off roofs and uprooted trees, including one in Taipei that crashed into a taxi, injuring its driver and a passenger.

Emergency officials said a further three people were injured in the capital and four elsewhere, either by falling trees or flying debris, bringing the total hurt to nine.

Typhoon Matmo had slightly weakened before it crossed the island to enter the Taiwan Strait and head for China's southeastern Fujian province Wednesday morning.

It was located around 180 kilometres (112 miles) south of Matsu, a Taiwan-controlled island off Fujian, at 0300 GMT, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

Typhoon Matmo dumped up to 0.6 metres (two feet) of water in the east and the mountainous areas in the southeast, the bureau said.

Despite moving away from the island, the typhoon "is forecast to spark more rains in the mountainous areas of the southeast and residents there need to keep taking precautions", an official at the bureau warned.

Financial markets, offices and schools were shut down due to the typhoon, which also led to the cancellation of 171 international and 24 domestic flights, and the interruption of all rail services to and from the east.

Some 5,400 residents living in the mountainous areas prone to landslides were evacuated.

As many tourists were evacuated from Green Island and Orchid Island, two popular scenic spots off the southeastern Taitung county, Tuesday.

The local government said shipping services between the two islets and Taitung had been suspended from Tuesday for three days.

Last year, Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Soulik, whose torrential rains and powerful winds left two people dead and at least 100 injured.

In 2009 Morakot, the worst storm to hit Taiwan in half a century, left more than 600 dead, including 400 people from Kaohsiung who were buried by mudslides triggered by torrential rains.

The disaster plunged President Ma Ying-jeou into his worst political crisis since taking office in May 2008, amid widespread public criticism that his government's response was late and inefficient.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Super Typhoon Rammasun hits southern China
Beijing (AFP) July 18, 2014
The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in more than 40 years made its second landfall Friday, authorities said, after leaving a trail of destruction and at least 64 dead in the neighbouring Philippines. Super Typhoon Rammasun hit the city of Zhanjiang in south China's Guangdong province Friday night, local meteorological authorities said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. ... read more


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