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Tropical Storm Nanmadol hits China's coast
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Aug 30, 2011

Tropical Storm Nanmadol lashed China Tuesday, forcing tens of thousands of boats back to harbour and causing the cancellation of dozens of flights, officials and state media said.

Nanmadol, which was downgraded to a tropical storm from a typhoon on Monday, earlier left a trail of destruction in Taiwan and killed at least 16 people in the Philippines.

Chinese weather authorities said Nanmadol was close to making landfall in the southeastern province of Fujian on Tuesday evening.

Although Nanmadol had been downgraded to a tropical storm, it still had winds of up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour at its centre, the National Meteorological Centre said in a statement.

A weather official told state television that the tropical storm had weakened further and was moving more slowly.

Fujian had recalled more than 44,000 boats to port, a Fujian government official said. More than 142,000 fisherman and fish farmers had moved to safety, he said.

Three airports across Fujian cancelled more than 40 flights, according to media reports.

The province had suspended shipping services and warned that bullet train services might be slowed or halted, the official Xinhua news agency said.

In the eastern province of Zhejiang, which neighbours Fujian, rescue workers carried more than 20 school children and their teachers to safety after they were stranded by floods.

On Monday, Taiwan deployed more than 50,000 troops and evacuated thousands of people as Nanmadol pummelled some of the island's most densely populated areas in the worst typhoon since 2009.

A motorcyclist was killed by falling glass in northern Taiwan after strong winds smashed a window, while landslides trapped more than 300 people in a remote village.

In the Philippines, more than 61,000 people were evacuated after Nanmadol hit the northern edge of the main island of Luzon at the weekend, causing landslides and floods. Most of the 16 killed were buried in landslides.

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