• Typhoon toll rises to 21 in China


    SHANGHAI: The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21, state media reported on Monday, with five more missing.

    Three people were killed by a mudslide and one was missing after being swept away by floods in Ningde, in the eastern province of Fujian, the Fujian Daily reported.

    In neighboring Zhejiang province 14 were killed and four were missing, the official news agency Xinhua said earlier, quoting local officials as saying that the dead and missing may have been washed away by floods or buried under ruined homes.

    The total direct economic losses in the two provinces were estimated at around eight billion yuan ($1.31 billion), figures from state media showed.

    Billed as the biggest typhoon of the year last week with winds of up to 230 kilometers an hour, Soudelor — named for a Micronesian chief — has since weakened.

    It made landfall in Fujian on Saturday night after leaving six people dead in Taiwan — including two twin sisters and their mother, who had all been swept out to sea.

    The China Meteorological Administration lifted its typhoon warning Monday as the storm weakened and moved further inland.

    Taiwan hot spring town still cut off
    Taiwanese authorities were rushing to repair roads in the mountainous hot spring town of Wulai on Monday, where 1,100 people were without electricity or water after Typhoon Soudelor ripped through the island.

    Landslides triggered by the storm, which hit in the early hours of Saturday and was billed as the most powerful typhoon this year, blocked the main road into the northern township just south of capital Taipei.

    “People are now able to walk past the area after our emergency repair, but it may take another three or four days for vehicles to get through,” Chiang Chien-ming, a chief road engineer at the transportation ministry, told AFP.

    About 100 residents in Xiaoyi village who were previously unaccounted for were contacted Saturday night and were safe.

    Soldiers were searching for another 10 people reported to be unreachable, a spokesman for the New Taipei City fire bureau told AFP.

    Television footage of the once scenic aboriginal town showed damaged houses, cracked roads, and mounds of rubble.

    Soudelor caused at least seven deaths in Taiwan as it flooded rivers, ripped up trees, and triggered landslides. Toppled trees and signboards damaged electricity lines, knocking out power to a record four million households.

    More than 90,000 households were still without power Monday morning, more than two days after the storm. More than 400 people were injured, according to the latest government statistics as of Saturday evening.

    Taiwan’s farming sector is estimated to have suffered about Tw$1 billion ($32 million) in losses from the typhoon, mainly destroying banana and pomelo crops.



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