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Archive for Sunday, August 13, 2006

China begins cleanup after Typhoon Saomai

August 13, 2006

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— Chinese authorities distributed emergency food supplies to evacuees and began massive clean-up efforts Saturday in the wake of Typhoon Saomai, which killed 105 people and left another 190 missing after it tore through the country's southeast.

More than 20,000 soldiers and paramilitary police were mobilized for relief efforts after Saomai - the strongest storm to strike the country since at least 1949 - blacked out cities and wrecked more than 50,000 homes.

State television showed workers distributing sacks of rice and bottles of cooking oil to evacuees camped out in shelters in the hardest-hit coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. They also received emergency bedding and clothes.

Authorities also helped residents disinfect drinking water to prevent disease, China Central Television said.

Bulldozers plowed through piles of wreckage and mud, pushing aside scraps of metal and chunks of concrete. Workers helped repair homes and street lamps.

The region was bracing for more torrential rain over the weekend. Saomai, which weakened to a tropical depression on Friday, was expected to drench Zhejiang and Fujian as well as the poor inland provinces of Jiangxi and Anhui.

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