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Typhoon Usagi kills 25 upon Guangdong landfall

English.news.cn   2013-09-23 18:11:30            
 • Typhoon Usagi has killed at least 25 after making landfall in Guangdong Province Sunday evening.
 • A total of 5.48 million people were affected and 310,000 residents were displaced due to the storm.
 • The typhoon has resulted in direct economic losses of 7.1 billion yuan in Guangdong.


Pedestrians travel in the rain with umbrellas in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 23, 2013. Typhoon Usagi made a landfall in Guangdong Sunday evening, bringing rainfall to the province. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

GUANGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 25 people have been killed since typhoon Usagi made landfall in south China's Guangdong Province on Sunday evening, said the provincial government on Monday.

The deaths included 13 in Shanwei City, six in Shantou, three in Jieyang and one in Guangzhou, Heyuan and Chaozhou each, said the emergency management office of Guangdong provincial government.

Around 5.5 million people have been affected and 310,000 displaced by the storm. Some 8,490 houses have been destroyed and 50,800 hectares of cropland damaged. The typhoon has incurred direct economic losses of 7.1 billion yuan (1.16 billion U.S. dollars) in the province.

Usagi -- Japanese for rabbit -- was designated a super typhoon on Saturday after it passed across the Philippines and Taiwan, moving toward the Chinese mainland. Although it weakened on Sunday, winds still reached 162 km per hour when it hit the land in Shanwei at 7:40 p.m. on Sunday.

Usagi has devastated the eastern part of Guangdong, with trees blown down and water and electricity supplies severed. Worst hit was Shanwei.

"The toll in our city included seven deaths at a railway construction site. The majority of casualties were due to the collapse of houses where people took shelter," said Xiao Zhan, deputy head of the Shanwei Water Authority.

"This is the strongest storm we have seen in the past 30 years. It is really terrible," said a Shanwei resident surnamed Zheng.

In Jinghai Township, Jieyang City, a villager died after being struck by window glass dislodged by the wind.

The provincial flood control headquarters said the typhoon had caused flooding in coastal areas, rivers to overflow and landslides in rural areas.

School classes and air, railway and shipping traffic were still suspended on Monday in 14 cities in Guangdong, including the provincial capital of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai, as well as neighboring Hong Kong and Macao, as a precaution against the storm.

Zhong Dong, chief forecaster with Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Station, said Usagi was the strongest storm to hit eastern Guangdong in 40 years and the most powerful to hit China this year.

From 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday, eight meteorological stations in Guangdong reported precipitation of more than 250 mm, with Chaozhou, Jieyang, Shantou and Shanwei reporting 107 mm on average.

Water supplies were completely cut downtown and power was cut to 210,000 households, according to the Shanwei water official. Some 487 fishing boats sunk and 20 bridges were damaged.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, electricity remained out for 1.8 million households in Guangdong and about 1.1 million mobile users were affected by damage of telecommunications stations.

Railway and highway services partially resumed on Monday.

Downpours hit the coastal and southern areas of Fujian Province with the worst more than 453 mm in Zhangzhou, but so far there are no reports of casualties in the province.

The National Disaster Reduction Commission and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have dispatched expert teams to help the relief work. The local disaster relief office has also dispatched work teams to affected areas.

Usagi has been downgraded into a tropical depression and its center entered neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region at midday on Monday.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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