- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

BEIJING — China evacuated nearly 320,000 people from the east coast as Typhoon Aere hit the mainland yesterday. Earlier, a storm-related mudslide buried a family of four in northern Taiwan pushing the regional death toll to 16.

Aere came ashore at 4:30 p.m. in Fujian province, south of Shanghai, state television reported while showing footage of howling wind and driving rain. Cars plowed through flooded streets littered with uprooted metal barriers. No injuries or deaths were reported on the mainland.

Aere was the second-strongest storm to hit China this season after Typhoon Rananim, which killed 164 persons and devastated the southern Chinese coast.

Earlier yesterday, Aere battered northern Taiwan, triggering a mudslide that buried a family of four in Hsinchu county. Roads also were washed away by the torrential rain and at least 5,000 persons were trapped in remote villages, disaster relief officials said. Two others were missing in the landslide.

Other fatalities included a man killed by a falling utility pole in Hsinchu. A 72-year-old man was missing after being swept away by floodwaters in central Nantou county, while 15 others were injured by falling trees or other debris, officials said.

Earlier this week, five fishermen in Taiwan and two children in Japan also drowned in seas whipped up by Aere, which means “storm” in the language of the Marshall Islands.

Nearly 250,000 people have fled Taiwan’s coastal areas, officials said.

In the Chinese coastal province of Fujian, nearly 320,000 residents in areas affected by the typhoon have been evacuated, China Central Television said without giving details. The airport in the provincial capital city of Fuzhou has been closed and some 10,000 boats have been secured in various harbors.

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