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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Typhoon drives hundreds of thousands from homes

A mass evacuation occurred over the weekend, as Typhoon Fitow hammered the southeastern coast of China. The storm made landfall yesterday, obliterating homes, businesses and farmlands, while shutting down all forms of mechanized transportation. Thus far five individuals have been killed by Fitow, with four additional people still missing.

Coastal region hit by Fitow
Hundreds of thousands were driven from their homes ahead of the storm, which packed 94 MPH winds and up to 8 inches of rain in some locations; one city, Wenzhou, saw over 1,700 homes and 115,000 acres of farmland destroyed. Over three million people were affected in Zhejiang alone, with estimated damages reaching over $330 million. There is as yet no official account regarding the extent of damage nationwide.

To date China has endured 23 typhoons in 2013, an unusually high number. While Authority in China is accustomed to dealing with multiple storms, with better-than-adequate emergency procedures in place, even they are feeling overwhelmed by this year's events. Fitow's destruction comes just three weeks after Typhoon Usagi, which killed 25 and damaged 7,100 homes while displacing over 400,000 people.

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