Eintime Conversion for education and research 05-14-2006 @ 17:21:33
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Tropical Storm China*

Tropical storm claims 73 lives in China

BEIJING (AP) — Tropical storm Chebi killed at least 73 people when it hit China's southeastern coast after leaving nine dead in Taiwan, news reports and officials said Monday.

Another 87 people were missing in coastal Fujian province after the weekend storm, the state-run China News Service reported.

All but two of the mainland deaths were reported in Fuzhou, the Fujian provincial capital, CNS said. The others were in Ningde, a smaller city nearby.

Damage in Fujian was estimated at $425 million, said CNS, which is run by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Chebi hit Fujian late Saturday and rain continued through the day Sunday, CNS said.

Tens of thousands of acres of farmland were flooded and thousands of tons of grain destroyed, the report said.

Also Monday, two crew members of a ship sunk by the storm off Taiwan's southern coast were found, according to rescue officials.

Twelve of the 23 crew members of the Kuangyan were still missing after the 5,300-ton vessel went down Saturday near Tainan, said Meng Hsien-tao of the National Fire Administration.

Four crew members were rescued and five others died, Meng said.

Two fishermen also were killed when their boat sank off the outlying island of Matsu, Meng said.

Initial estimates of damage to Taiwan's agriculture were about $4.2 million, the Council of Agriculture said.

Chebi, with winds up to 75 mph, skirted Taiwan's southern coast over the weekend. It forced the cancellation of domestic airline flights and closed mountain highways.


(Original Len: 1820 Condensed Len: 2149)

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