Typhoon Megi downgraded by Chinese authorities

October 24, 2010 08:41


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BEIJING — Torrential rains drenched China's southeastern coast Sunday as the government downgraded Typhoon Megi to a tropical depression and more than 300,000 evacuees waited to return to their battered homes.

Megi hit China on Saturday, dumping up to 33 centimeters (13 inches) of rain on coastal villages after the storm cut a swath of destruction through the first the Philippines and then Taiwan. Landslides and flooding in Taiwan killed as many as 31 people, and Megi killed at least 28 people in the northern Philippines.

No deaths were reported in China, but news reports said there was extensive damage to fishing boats and shellfish beds in coastal Fujian province, where more heavy rain was falling Sunday.

An estimated 313,700 people were evacuated and authorities were deciding Sunday whether it was safe for them to return, said an employee of the Fujian provincial Flood Control Headquarters.

"After checking the safety of houses, different areas can decide when to allow people to return," said the employee, who would give only her surname, Li.

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