Remnants of Typhoon Haikui cause floods in southeastern China

BEIJING — Intense rain from the remnants of Typhoon Haikui lashed southeastern China early on Wednesday (Sept 6), bringing floods and waterlogging that forced cities in Fujian province to halt subway services, shut schools and evacuate tens of thousands.

The rain shattered 12-year-old records in the provincial capital of Fuzhou, weather officials said, prompting warnings that 49 reservoirs had exceeded flood limits.

More than 36,000 people were evacuated from homes, power and communications links were damaged and nearly 4,195 hectares (10,366 acres) of farmland inundated, causing losses the state broadcaster said stood at 552.1 million yuan (S$102 million).

Floodwaters gushed down streets in Fuzhou and the city of Fuqing to its south, knocking over motorcycles and trash bins and stranding cars, video images on social media showed.

Media reports showed submerged cars, marooned shops and apartments as well as landslides and mudslides.

Fuzhou received up to 554 mm of cumulative rain on Tuesday, the national forecaster said, for an hourly record of close to 150 mm.

That surpassed the volume brought by Typhoon Doksuri in late July, which ripped through Fujian to cause floods and losses of US$2 billion, state media said.

Fuzhou closed subway lines and suspended train services, while schools shut for a second day.

The floods have hit many cities in Fujian, exposing the fragility of urban drainage and other infrastructure, state-backed The Paper quoted a provincial official, Chen Yunong, as saying.

Waterlogging in both old cities and new urban areas needs to be tackled, Chen said.

Putian and Quanzhou were among six cities elsewhere in Fujian flagged as being at risk of flash floods and landslides. The provincial government told local authorities to prepare to move out people from areas likely to be the hardest hit.

The rains are expected to last until Friday in central and southern parts of the province, where Typhoon Haikui hit land early on Tuesday, before losing strength and being downgraded to a tropical storm.

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