Typhoon Wipha kills seven

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Typhoon Wipha kills seven

Typhoon Wipha kills seven
Associated Press
Thursday, September 20, 2007 (Shanghai)
Typhoon Wipha, which fizzled into a tropical storm while sweeping across eastern China, killed seven people and left three missing when it lashed the region with winds, torrential rains and landslides, reports said on Thursday.

Five people died in landslides unleashed by the storm, reports in state media said on Thursday, while earlier reports said a Shanghai man was electrocuted when he stepped into water electrified by a light box and a construction worker was killed when the storm knocked over scaffolding in Taiwan.

Weather photos showed Wipha spread over a large area centered on eastern China's Shandong province on Thursday.

The storm was forecast to pass over the Yellow Sea toward the Korean peninsula.

Wipha was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm on Wednesday after it hit land in southern Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Few people missing

Another three people were missing, it said without giving any further details.

A total of 2.7 million people were evacuated from coastal or flooded areas and unsafe housing in Shanghai and other areas affected by the storm, Xinhua said.

The storm destroyed thousands of houses, wrecked fish ponds and disrupted power to more than 100 communities, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and provincial officials reported.

Preliminary estimates put the damage at $638 million and likely to rise.

Shanghai, a city of 20 million, closed schools, ferries and other transport links following forecasts of torrential rains and strong winds.

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