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Killer typhoons strike SE Asian countries

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | Baltimore, MD | August 24, 2000

Bilis, a super typhoon, killed 11 people in Taiwan before making landfall in China. Earlier this week, an

earthquake in southwest China injured 406 people and left 169,000 homeless. The quake measured 5.1 on

the Richter scale. In Vietnam, two tornados killed a 5-year-old child and injured 77 others. Deadly storms in

Taiwan and Vietnam, combined with torrential rains in Southern India, have forced thousands of people

from their homes this week.

Super Typhoon Bilis slammed into Taiwan on Tuesday with sustained winds of more than 160 mph,

making it a category five hurricane. At least 11 people were killed and more than 100 were injured as wind

gusts were clocked at more than 200 mph.

The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, active in recovery efforts following a deadly earthquake that hit the

island last September, is preparing damage assessments and will be recommending appropriate

international response.

In Nantou, winds from Bilis lifted roofs off of prefabricated homes provided to survivors of last year's

earthquake.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power and thousands are still in emergency shelters.

A mudslide caused by Bilis' heavy downpour of rain hit a small mountain village, killing several local

residents. Taiwanese officials say the storms have caused at least $90 million (USD) in damage including the

destruction of 77,960 acres of farm land.

In the county of Hualien, the winds from the storm were reported to have collapsed 250 homes. And to

further complicate efforts, an 5.7 earthquake rattled that area of the country on Wednesday.

The southern port of Kaohsiung -- a major SE seaport -- was closed to shipping as the storm raked the

island and waves smashed against its seawalls.

Bilis is the second strong typhoon to hit Taiwan this year and the tenth typhoon to hit the region this year.

Typhoon Kai Tak pummeled southern Taiwan last month with 93 mph winds, killing one and injuring five

more.

Taiwan has also been rocked by thousands of small earthquakes since the huge 7.6 magnitude one struck

back in September of 1999, killing some 2,400 people and destroying thousands of homes.

A weaker, but apparently more deadly, Tropical Storm Kaemi hit Vietnam killing at least 16 people,

including six tourists and flooded the country with a foot of rain Wednesday.

In southern India, torrential rains Wednesday killed at least 49 people, and forced the evacuation of 5,000

homes in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Officials said half of the deaths occurred in the Guntoor district.


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