Typhoon Lekima death toll rises to 28

Rescuers working on the landslide triggered by typhoon Lekima in Yongjia county, Zhejiang province, China, yesterday. Twenty-two victims were found so far and ten are still missing. – EPA pic, August 11, 2019.

THE death toll from typhoon Lekima rose to 28 in eastern China, said local authorities today, as rescue teams worked to locate the missing after the storm triggered a landslide and forced more than a million people to evacuate.

The monster storm arrived in Wenling city in the early hours of yesterday, packing winds of 187kph, with waves several metres high hitting the coastline.

Yesterday, national television station CCTV said 18 people had died in a landslide triggered by the storm’s downpours in the municipality of Wenzhou, around 400km from Shanghai.

It was unclear if the further 10 deaths announced today resulted from the same incident. 

Twenty people were still missing, according to Zhejiang provincial authorities.

“Currently, search and rescue work from various regions is still ongoing,” they said on social media platform Weibo.

More than a million people were evacuated from their homes ahead of the typhoon, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Some 110,000 people were housed in shelters.

In Zhejiang province alone, nearly 300 flights were cancelled, and ferry and rail services were suspended as a precaution.

Today, footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed rescue workers on boats navigating through Linhai city, where streets were completely submerged in muddy water.

Local Chinese media reports also showed teams pulling stranded citizens from bright orange inflatable boats, with skies starting to clear as the storm moved further up the coast.

Lekima has entered Jiangsu province north of Shanghai and is expected to hit Shandong province later. Both provinces have already issued a red alert for torrential rain. – AFP, August 11, 2019.

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