Sunday 18 August 2019

Typhoon leaves 33 dead as it hammers China

Rescue vehicle: An improvised use of a bulldozer helps rescuers evacuate people from their homes in Zhejiang. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
Rescue vehicle: An improvised use of a bulldozer helps rescuers evacuate people from their homes in Zhejiang. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Jacob Stolworthy

The death toll from a powerful typhoon that hit south-eastern China rose to 33 as rescue workers used rubber dinghies to evacuate stranded people while swift currents swept by their homes.

China's emergency broadcasting network said 16 people were still missing in Zhejiang province, where 32 died. It reported one more death in the neighbouring Anhui province.

Typhoon Lekima triggered a landslide and floods after making landfall in Zhejiang, about 300km south of Shanghai, on Saturday.

Most of the victims were in a village in Yongjia, where a landslide blocked a river that then poured into the small town, killing 23 people. Nine others were unaccounted for.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed buildings that had been smashed by the raging waters and workers using backhoes to clean up the debris.

To the north, parts of the city of Linhai remained flooded yesterday, with water reaching up to the top of the first floor of buildings, leaving only treetops sticking out.

CCTV showed people being rescued with life vests and boats in nearby Xianju county.

Lekima, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to dump heavy rain on China's north-east in the coming days as it moves up the Pacific coast.

It forced the closure of Shanghai Disneyland.

Weather forecasters said the storm, which had winds of 187kmh when it made landfall, was moving northwards at 15kmh.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News