Wipha whips eastern China as 2 million moved from coastal areas; 1 dead

September 19, 2007 07:06

Typhoon Wipha slammed into the coast south of Shanghai early Wednesday, flooding streets and causing massive transport disruptions as authorities ordered 2 million people evacuated. One man was electrocuted. Shanghai, China's biggest city, closed schools, ferries and other transport links following forecasts of torrential rains and strong winds. Authorities in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian province had ordered 2 million people evacuated from ships, coastal regions and housing deemed unsafe after forecasters said the storm could be the most destructive to hit the area in a decade. But Wipha was fast losing power and unlikely to live up to those forecasts. The Meteorological Bureau in Zhejiang province, where Wipha made landfall, reported that the storm was downgraded to a severe tropical storm early Wednesday when its sustained wind speeds dropped below 118 kilometers per hour (74 mph).

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