49 killed, 21 missing as Typhoon Lekima leaves trail of destruction in China
Beijing: Forty nine people have died and 21 others were reported missing as Typhoon Lekima wreaked havoc in Chinese provinces of Zhejiang, Shandong and Anhui, affecting millions of people.
The death toll in Zhejiang Province alone on Monday rose to 39 while nine others remained missing, the Zhejiang provincial flood control headquarters said.
The others were reported dead from Shandong and Anhui provinces.
The ninth and strongest typhoon of the year has affected 6.68 million residents in Zhejiang, among whom 1.26 million were evacuated.
It has damaged 234,000 hectares of crops, inflicting a direct loss of 24.22 billion yuan (approx. USD 3.4 billion), state-run Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
Lekima hit Wenling city in Zhejiang province on Saturday afternoon, packing winds of 187 kilometers per hour and bringing heavy rainstorms.
It made a second landing at 8:50 pm Sunday on the coast of Qingdao in Shandong Province, affecting 1.66 million people out of which 183,800 were relocated, said the provincial emergency management department.
Heavy rains and strong gales have damaged 175,400 hectares of crops and toppled 609 houses in Shandong,it said.
Floodwaters inundated 18,000 vegetable greenhouses in Shouguang, a major vegetable production base in China.
The average precipitation in the city of Weifang, which administers Shouguang, reached 217.5 mm between 6 am Saturday and 1 pm Sunday, the largest rainfall since the hydrologic record started in 1952, said the local flood control and drought relief headquarters.
In the neighbouring Anhui Province, the typhoon has affected more than 130,000 residents and 20,000 of them have been evacuated as flooding damaged their houses, crops and roads and disrupted electricity and telecommunications.
Typhoon Lekima damaged nearly 6,000 hectares of crops, toppled 364 houses in Anhui, said the provincial emergency management department.
The typhoon also affected Liaoning Province as it moved northward. More than 106,000 residents have been relocated, 28 trains disrupted and all major tourist destinations closed.