More China typhoon bodies found

The death toll from Typhoon Saomai has risen to 255, with 163 people missing, as the strongest storm to hit China in more than five decades brings more rain to inland areas.

Saomai was the Chinese typhoon season's eighth major storm
Saomai was the Chinese typhoon season's eighth major storm

Chinese authorities said some of the latest victims were evacuees who died when buildings used as shelters collapsed.

The death toll rose after rescuers found 41 more bodies in Fuding, a coastal city in Fujian province, pushing the community death toll to 138, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday.

In the inland province of Jiangxi, an elderly couple were swept away on Friday as they checked their farmland during the storm, Xinhua said.

It said one member of the couple was dead and the other missing.

On Sunday, residents of the southeast coast were clearing away the debris of wrecked houses.

Much of the area is still recovering from Tropical Storm Bilis, which killed more than 600 people last month.

Hardest-hit by Saomai was the coastal city of Wenzhou, where at least 81 people were killed after the storm hit late on Thursday with winds up to 270kph, reportedly destroying more than 50,000 houses, sinking more than 1,000 fishing boats and blacking out six cities.

Buildings collapse

Cangnan county on Wenzhou’s outskirts suffered 43 deaths, some of them in the collapse of two- to four-storey residential buildings of reinforced concrete that were thought to be safe in high wind, said a spokesman for the Communist Party committee.

The county evacuated 100,000 people in advance of the storm, said the spokesman, who would give only his surname, Huang.

“Some people were killed because after they moved to friends’ or relatives’ homes, those homes collapsed,” Huang said. “Other people were killed during the evacuation because billboards, trees or power poles fell on them.”

The coastal city of Wenzhou isamong the hardest hit cities

The coastal city of Wenzhou is
among the hardest hit cities

Total economic losses in Zhejiang and Fujian were estimated at 11.3 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), the China Daily newspaper reported on its website.

Rescue workers were distributing cooking oil, sacks of rice, clothes and bedding to thousands of people living in shelters in coastal Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.

Elsewhere in Zhejiang, a landslide killed six people in the city of Lishui, Xinhua said. Seven people were reported killed in Fujian, while Jiangxi suffered one death in its capital city, Nanchang.

Also on Saturday, a flash flood triggered by heavy rains in north China killed at least seven people, including a one-year-old child, Xinhua said.

Violent season

The flood occurred on Friday in the town of Balgutai in the Inner Mongolia region, where some 1,000 residents were relocated to safety, it said.

Saomai, the Vietnamese name for the planet Venus, was the eighth major storm to hit China during an unusually violent typhoon season.

It killed at least two people in the Philippines earlier and dumped rain on Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The weather bureau said Saomai was the most powerful typhoon since its record-keeping began in 1949.

Source: News Agencies

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