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Super Typhoon Soudelor kills 9 in China

August 09, 2015 18:21 IST

A town is seen submerged as it is hit by Typhoon Soudelor in Ningde, Fujian province, China. All photographs: Reuters

Nine persons were killed and three others missing as Super Typhoon Soudelor left behind a trail of destruction in eastern China, uprooting trees, hitting power supply and causing the heaviest rains in a century, state media reported on Sunday.

Heavy downpours have caused mudslides and cave-ins led to several house collapses, affecting over 2 lakh people after Soudelor, called the biggest typhoon of the year earlier in the week with winds of up to 230 kilometres an hour, made a landfall in the Chinese coast on Saturday night.

The nine dead and three missing people may have been washed away by floods or buried under the collapsed houses in Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing local flood control and drought relief officials.

People wade through a flooded street at a town hit by Typhoon Soudelor in Ningde, Fujian province, China.

After pounding Taiwan where it claimed six lives and injured 102 people, Soudelor made a landfall in Fujian Province and moved from there to neighbouring Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces and has weakened.

In Wencheng county, under the jurisdiction of Wenzhou, precipitation within 24 hours hit 645 mm, the heaviest in a hundred years, officials said. A total of 2,21,900 people were affected in Wenzhou, with a direct economic loss of 248 million yuan ($40 million).

ZhejiangProvince issued an orange alert for rainstorms earlier on Saturday. So far precipitation in 16 cities and counties reached 250 mm. The city of Fuding experienced the heaviest downpour of over 501 mm. In the provincial capital of Fuzhou, much of the downtown area was waterlogged.

More than 10,000 trees had fallen and traffic stalled on flooded streets.

A total of 1,63,200 people were evacuated on Saturday night, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief office. Power supply to over two million households was affected, and was restored for 6,30,000 households this morning after urgent repairs.

A trapped car is pushed along a flooded street after typhoon Soudelor hit Fuzhou, Fujian province, China.

Three airports in the province were also closed, with more than 530 flights cancelled.

Six expressways were closed. Also, 191 high-speed trains were cancelled.

As the typhoon moved to east China's Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, the Fujian flood control and drought relief office downgraded the level-three typhoon emergency response to level-two.

Meanwhile, east China's JiangxiProvince launched a level-three emergency response as the typhoon was expected to land in the province around noon on Sunday.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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