China downgrades Megi, lifts typhoon warning

Torrential rains drenched China as the government downgraded Typhoon Megi to a tropical depression.

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2010, 21:39 PM IST

Beijing: Torrential rains drenched China`s
southeastern coast on Sunday as the government downgraded Typhoon Megi to a tropical depression and more than 300,000 evacuees waited to return to their battered homes.

Megi hit China on Saturday, dumping up to 13 inches
(33 centimetres) of rain on coastal villages after earlier
cutting a swath of destruction through the Philippines and
Taiwan. Landslides and flooding in Taiwan killed as many as 31
people, and at least 28 people died in the northern
Philippines.

No deaths were reported in China, but news reports
said there was extensive damage to fishing boats and shellfish
beds in coastal Fujian province, where more heavy rain was
falling Sunday.

An estimated 313,700 people were evacuated and
authorities were deciding today whether it was safe to return,
said an employee of the Fujian provincial Flood Control
Headquarters.

"After checking the safety of houses, different areas
can decide when to allow people to return," said the employee,
who would give only her surname, Li.

China`s weather bureau downgraded Megi to a tropical
storm yesterday as its wind speeds slowed and later lowered
its status to a depression. The government lifted a typhoon
alert early Sunday.

PTI