• Typhoon leaves three dead, five missing in south China


    BEIJING: Three people are confirmed dead, five are missing and tens of thousands were evacuated as Typhoon Utor battered south China with strong winds and torrential rain, state media saidon Thursday.

    More than one million people in Guangdong province have been affected by heavy rain and floods, Xinhua news agency quoted the provincial flood control headquarters as saying.

    Some 161,500 people had to be relocated and nearly 1,500 homes were destroyed. Several villages in the Zhanjiang and Wuchuan municipalities were flooded as embankments along the swollen Quehua River burst on Wednesday.

    The storm, which earlier left at least eight dead and a trail of damage in the Philippines, made landfall near Yangjiang in western Guangdong Wednesday afternoon with winds of over 150 kilometers per hour, Xinhua quoted local weather authorities as saying.

    It moved into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday night and was expected to remain there for four days.

    Utor originally made landfall in the Philippines, where the confirmed death toll rose to eight on Thursday.

    Tens of thousands were displaced and whole towns badly damaged when the typhoon raked across the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon on Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

    Utor ripped the roofs off houses, government buildings and churches as it flattened crops and toppled trees in parts of the Philippines before heading out to the South China Sea.

    Packing winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour at its center, it brushed past Hong Kong, where it forced the closure of financial markets, schools and businesses and disrupted hundreds of flights.

    It also caused a 190-meter-long cargo ship to sink off Hong Kong Wednesday but all 21 crew were rescued.



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