China

Rains, gales pummel China's southeastern coastline

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BEIJING, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Southeastern China was whipped by gales and torrential rains on Friday after the arrival of Typhoon Lupit, prompting the evacuation of tens of thousands, the recall of fishing boats and the closings of harbours along the coast.

Typhoon Lupit, or "Cruelty" in Tagalog, made landfall in Guangdong province on Thursday, and then again later that day in Fujian province as it forged a northeasterly track.

Lupit was downgraded to a tropical depression on Friday, but heavy rain persisted from Macau to the Fujian provincial capital of Fuzhou, drenching more than 700 km (435 miles) of coastline.

More than 33,000 people in Guangdong had already been taken to safe zones and more than 3,000 fishing boats returned to port, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Neighbouring Fujian, north of Guangdong, evacuated 25,000 people from hazardous areas and recalled 153 fishing boats. A total of 218 harbours and seaside scenic spots were also closed.

On Friday, extremely heavy rainfall of up to 280 mm is expected to hit Fujian.

Lupit will continue to churn north and across the Taiwan Strait, bringing heavy downpours to Taiwan later in the day.

Last month, intense storms flooded the central Chinese province of Henan, killing 302. Most of the fatalities were in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, where the equivalent of nearly a year's rain fell in three days. read more

Reporting by Ryan Woo. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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