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Typhoon Fung Wong Hurts Livelihoods of 450,000 People

More than 450,000 people have suffered economic losses and 107 flights have been canceled in east China since typhoon Fung Wong, the eighth tropical storm to hit China this year, made landfall late on Monday.

The typhoon, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Tuesday, destroyed 110 houses and forced the evacuations of 390,000 people in Fujian Province.

Crops were destroyed on 16,840 hectares of farmland, according to a preliminary estimates of the provincial flood control office on Tuesday.

Sixty-six industries and enterprises suspended operation, causing economic losses of 503 million yuan (US$74 million).

As of 10:00 PM on Tuesday, 97 domestic and 10 international flights had been canceled, according to an official with Changle International Airport in Fuzhou, the provincial capital.

Eight other flights were delayed and only 12 aircraft took off at the airport as scheduled.

The source said all the 430 international air passengers, who were stranded at the airport, would leave on rescheduled flights.

The typhoon weakened into a tropical storm early on Tuesday and was moving northwest towards Qianshan County, Jiangxi Province, at about 9:21 PM, bringing heavy rains and winds.

It is expected to continue for three more days, producing 150 millimeters of rain, on average, in northern areas of Jiangxi by Saturday, the provincial meteorological observatory predicted.

The Fujian observatory said the eye of the powerful typhoon landed at Donghan Town, Fuqing City, at 10:00 PM on Monday with winds of up to 119 kilometers per hour and torrential rains.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2008)

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