Sun, September 12, 2010
China > Mainland > Typhoons, storms hit China

Nearly 1,000 graves damaged, 300 flights delayed after tropical storm Meranti slams Chinese cities

2010-09-11 17:32:32 GMT2010-09-12 01:32:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HANGZHOU, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 1,000 graves were damaged in a mud flow that hit east China's Zhejiang Province Saturday after torrential rains, caused by tropical storm Meranti, triggered landslides, a debris flow and delayed flights.

However, no causalities have been reported as of 11 p.m. after Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, was hit by nine landslides and a debris flow, said Zhejiang flood control officials.

After the mud flow damaged 952 graves at the Meinushan Cemetery in Binjiang District, the district government ordered work crews to relocate exposed remains to safe places and reinforce existing graves, said officials.

Torrential rains have been pounding the city since 4 a.m. Officials reported that by 7 a.m. the rainfall has reached 232 mm, a rarely seen accumulation in only three hours.

In Shanghai, more than 300 outgoing flights, both domestic and international, were delayed for more than 30 minutes as of 5 p.m. at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

However, no flights have yet been canceled, according to airport security staff.

Also, inbound flights have not been seriously affected, with fewer than 10 flights being delayed prior to landing, they said.

Additionally, flights were not affected at the other civilian airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.

Tropical storm Meranti struck Zhejiang Province at 7 p.m. Friday, weakened to a tropical depression and then vanished by 2 a.m. Saturday, said Zhejiang flood control officials.

However, torrential rains continued pounding the area, with heavy rainfall to be expected in Zhejiang, Shanghai through the next three days, according to local meteorological center forecasts.

Before entering Zhejiang, Typhoon Meranti made landfall in southeast China's Fujian Province Friday, killing three people and affecting more than one million as of Saturday, according to a statement released by the Fujian provincial office of flood control.

The three people were reported dead after strong winds destroyed their houses, the statement reported.

Meanwhile, more than 186,500 people were evacuated and 1.05 million people were affected by the storm. Economic losses in the province are estimated at 800.3 million yuan (about 117.7 million U.S dollars), noted the statement.

Meranti made landfall at Shishi City in Fujian Province at 3:30 a.m. Friday, with a recorded wind speed of 108 km per hour at its center.

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