Over 360,000 evacuated as Muifa nears Shandong

Updated: 2011-08-08 13:07


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JINAN - More than 360,000 people were evacuated in east China's Shandong Province on Monday as tropical storm Muifa continues to move along the country's eastern coast.

More than 20,000 fishing boats were called back to harbor by early Monday morning, local authorities said.

No casualties in the province have been reported yet.

According to the provincial meteorological observatory, the storm, which weakened from a powerful typhoon on Sunday, has unleashed torrential rains in the coastal areas of Shandong, soaking as many as 85 counties and villages with precipitation levels of 50 to 100 mm.

The storm was located about 50 km southeast of the province and was moving north at a speed of 25 km per hour as of 11 a.m. Monday.

Muifa, the ninth typhoon to hit China this year, swirled into the East China Sea on Friday morning.

It is predicted to skirt the Shandong Peninsular and land somewhere between north China's Liaoning Province and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday evening.

A total of 756 temporary shelters have been set up in Liaoning's border city of Dandong, according to the Liaoning flood control and drought relief headquarters. The shelters are capable of accommodating over 1 million people, the headquarters said.

All passenger liners shuttling between port cities of Dalian in Liaoning and Yantai in Shandong suspended services.

Six thousand military personnel are prepared to conduct rescue and repair work after the storm has passed, the headquarters said.

In the neighboring province of Jilin, the storm is expected to bring high winds and heavy rains, said Wang Xiaoming, head of the provincial meteorological observatory.

Local governments have been ordered to take precautions against any natural disasters that might occur as a result of the storm, he said.

A 400-strong team of rescue personnel, as well as more than 90 boats and three helicopters, has been mobilized to help with post-storm rescue efforts in the northern port city of Tianjin, according to the city's maritime authorities.

The storm moved along China's eastern coast on Sunday, downing power lines, billboards and trees in Shanghai and forcing the evacuation of 312,000 of the city's residents.