Typhoon batters Taiwan; 4 dead
( AP ) - A typhoon lashed Taiwan Saturday with intense winds and rains, killing four people and cutting power to thousands of homes. But the storm weakened as it moved toward mainland China, where authorities ordered hundreds of thousands to higher ground.
Two people were still missing in Taiwan, the Disaster Relief Center said.
Typhoon Krosa was forecast to strike China's southern Zhejiang and northern Fujian provinces late Sunday, China's national flood control office said in a notice on its Web site.
On Sunday morning, the typhoon was centered at sea about 80 miles northwest of Keelung on the northern tip of Taiwan. It weakened to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 66 mph, down from 114 mph, the Central Weather Bureau said.
Two men were killed in a Taipei suburb Saturday when their house was buried by a landslide, the Disaster Relief Center said. Another man died after falling from his balcony during the storm in northern Hsinchu, and a woman was electrocuted after falling from her motorcycle in Tainan.
Two men were missing, including one who was buried in debris after a hostel was hit by a landslide in Hsinchu.
At its peak, Krosa caused a massive power cut blacking out some 2 million homes in Taiwan. But electricity has since been restored.
Cathay Pacific Airways canceled flights from Taipei to Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Dragon Airlines also canceled flights between Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The Central Weather Bureau said Krosa could continue to dump heavy rains across Taiwan on Sunday as it moved toward eastern China.
On mainland China, more than 500,000 tourists were evacuated from China's southeast coast, the Xinhua News Agency said. Fishing boats were ordered back into port and tourist activities were canceled in Zhejiang.
Authorities in Zhejiang evacuated 837,000 people and recalled more than 32,000 vessels by late Saturday, Xinhua said. In Shanghai, where the Special Olympics is taking place, the city government canceled vacations for flood-control workers and was drafting plans to drain competition sites.
In Vietnam, the death toll from Typhoon Lekima - which hit the country's central coast late Wednesday - rose to 32, with another 16 people missing, disaster officials said.
Authorities said they expected the death toll to go even higher.
Nine bodies were recovered Saturday in the worst-hit central province of Nghe An, said provincial disaster official Tran Gia Danh.
"This is the worst flood to hit our province since 1988," Danh said. "We expect the death toll from flooding in the province to rise as communication with some villages remains disrupted."
Lekima, named after a local fruit, also damaged about 77,000 homes, the government said.