Friday, August 11, 2006

Bad Year for Disasters

There is no shortage of disasters this year. reports: China has mobilised thousands of soldiers and police to help relief efforts after Typhoon Saomai killed at least 104 people.

Typhoon Saomai - the strongest storm to hit the country for 50 years – had wrecked more than 50,000 homes by Saturday morning and caused blackouts in several cities.

More than 190 people were still missing after the storm struck on Friday.

Saomai weakened to a tropical depression as it hit the southeast but torrential rains are forecast over the weekend in China's south stretching from coastal Zhejiang and Fujian inland to the poor rural provinces of Jiangxi and Anhui.

Wenzhou was hardest hit, at least 81 people were killed and 11 missing, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The storm caused 4.5 billion yuan ($560 million) in damage in the coastal city, 18,000 houses were flattened.