World

China typhoon kills 44

BEIJING A monster storm that smashed its way up the eastern China coast has killed 44 people, state media said yesterday.

Footage showed fields and streets flooded by muddy water, submerged vehicles, scattered debris and trees blown over as strong winds and rain from Typhoon Lekima pounded cities along the seaboard.

The official Xinhua news agency said the toll had risen to 39 in Zhejiang province, where Lekima made landfall on Saturday, packing winds of nearly 190kmh and pounding the coast with waves several metres in height.

At least 18 of those were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential downpours in Wenzhou.

On Sunday, Lekima hit Shandong province, where five were reported dead and seven missing, with more than 180,000 people relocated and damage to 600 homes. The natural disaster has inflicted economic losses of more than 24.22 billion yuan (S$4.76 billion) in Zhejiang alone, the authorities said.

Rescue workers were shown on CCTV using boats and rope pulleys to carry out stranded residents over the weekend.

More than 3,200 flights have been cancelled because of the typhoon, as Beijing, Shanghai and other cities grounded planes. In Shanghai, more than 90 tourist sites, including Disneyland, were closed ahead of the storm. - AFP

WORLD