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Nearly half a million evacuated as tropical storm hits China

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A woman struggles in the wind from Typhoon Nepartak in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, July 8, 2016. Power was partially restored in Taiwan on Friday after Nepartak slammed into the island’s eastern coast with ferocious winds and torrential rains.

BEIJING >> Typhoon Nepartak weakened to a strong tropical storm Saturday as it lashed China’s east coast, bringing powerful winds and heavy rains that toppled houses and inundated roads.

Fujian province’s water resources department said authorities evacuated more than 422,000 people living in risky areas and suspended or canceled several hundred flights and bullet train services.

China’s meteorological center said the storm made landfall around 1:45 p.m. in the municipality of Quanzhou, packing winds of 55 miles an hour.

State broadcaster China Central Television said the storm triggered waves 13-16 feet high.

The typhoon had left two people dead and 72 injured in Taiwan.

China is already contending with some of the worst flooding the country has experienced in recent years. Since June 30, torrential rain, floods, landslides and hailstorms have killed 164 people and left 26 missing in 11 provinces, according to the civil affairs ministry.

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