, BEIJING, Sep 23 – Typhoon Fanapi, one of the strongest storms to hit China in years, has left 54 people dead and 42 missing in flooding and landslides in the south of the country, state media said Thursday.
Xinhua news agency said 79,000 people had been evacuated due to Fanapi, which hit China on Monday a day after raking Taiwan with heavy rains, killing two people and leaving more than 100 injured on the island.
All of China\’s deaths occurred in the southern province of Guangdong, which has been battered by its worst rains in a century, it said.
Authorities in Guangdong had to use helicopters to air-drop relief supplies to victims in some areas, it added, quoting provincial flood control authorities.
Of those missing, 25 people disappeared in a rain-triggered mudslide, state media reports had said.
Typhoon-related disasters have destroyed more than 3,600 homes and caused economic losses in excess of two billion yuan (300 million dollars), Xinhua said.
Fanapi made landfall in Fujian province in the southeast but no casualties have been reported there.
The storm, which has weakened to a low-pressure system, has moved westward, bringing torrential rains in its wake and hitting Guangdong hardest.
At its strongest point, when it hit Taiwan on Sunday, Fanapi was packing winds of up to 220 kilometres an hour and dumped up to 100 centimetres of rain in the south of the island.
This summer, floods and related disasters triggered by torrential rains ravaged wide areas of China, killing more than 3,100 people and causing the evacuation of more than 15 million, according to government figures.