At least 32 dead as Lekima lashes China
More than 6 million people have been affected by Typhoon Lekima in eastern China while the death toll rose to 32, local authorities said yesterday, as rescue teams worked to look for more than a dozen people still missing after the storm triggered a landslide and forced the evacuation of more than a million residents.
As of 5pm yesterday, the super typhoon left 6.51 million people impacted in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong and Fujian as well as the city of Shanghai, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
The monster storm hit Wenling City early Saturday, packing winds of nearly 190 kilometers per hour and generating waves several meters high along the coast.
At least 18 people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential downpours in Wenzhou City, around 400km south of Shanghai, national broadcaster CCTV said on Saturday.
A further 14 deaths were announced yesterday, but it was unclear if they were from the same incident.
Sixteen people were still missing, according to Zhejiang provincial authorities.
“Currently, search and rescue work from various regions is still ongoing,” they said on social media platform Weibo.
More than a million people were evacuated from their homes ahead of the typhoon, Xinhua news agency reported.
Some 110,000 people were housed in shelters.
According to local authorities, the natural disaster has caused economic losses of more than 15.8 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion).
In Linhai City alone, losses amounted to around 2.1 billion yuan, which included 183 collapsed houses and more than 600 damaged roads.
Footage from CCTV yesterday showed rescue workers on boats navigating through Linhai, where streets were submerged in muddy water.
Lekima made its second landing at 8:50pm on the coastal Qingdao City, east China’s Shandong Province, packing winds up to 82.8 kilometers per hour.
A total of 26 reservoirs in Shandong have opened floodgates to release water as of 4pm. Six rivers in the province have seen obvious floods.
Heavy rain is expected to hit cities in Shandong, Hebei, Liaoning and Jilin.