A dozen dead in China in Typhoon Soudelor

  • 10/08/2015
A town is seen submerged as it is hit by Typhoon Soudelor in Ningde, Fujian province, China (Reuters)
A town is seen submerged as it is hit by Typhoon Soudelor in Ningde, Fujian province, China (Reuters)

Typhoon Soudelor has killed 12 people in eastern China and five are missing after parts of the country were hit by the heaviest rains in a century, state media reports.

The casualties were reported in and around Wenzhou city in the province of Zhejiang, where downpours caused mudslides and several houses collapsed on Saturday night, Xinhua news agency reported.

It quoted local disaster relief officials as saying the dead and missing may have been washed away by floods or buried under ruined homes.

About 1.36 million people in the city were affected by the typhoon, the agency said, estimating direct economic losses at 3.83 billion yuan (NZ$940 million).

Nearby Wencheng county saw downpours of 645 millimetres in 24 hours - the heaviest in 100 years - after the typhoon made landfall on Saturday night, it said.

The storm had landed in Fujian province and cut power to more than three million homes there, Xinhua said, but more than a third had electricity restored by Sunday morning.

Billed as the biggest typhoon of the year last week with winds of up to 230 kilometres (140 miles) an hour, Soudelor has since weakened.

China's National Meteorological Centre forecast the typhoon would be downgraded to a tropical depression by Sunday night as it moved further inland.

Soudelor left six people dead in Taiwan, where it ripped up trees and triggered landslides, damaging electricity lines and knocking out power to a record four million households.

Almost half a million homes were still without power Sunday, Taiwan Power Co. said, as blocked roads hampered efforts to restore supplies in some areas.

Taiwan's death toll rose to six after an eight-year-old girl who went missing Thursday after being swept out to sea with her mother and twin sister was found dead.

Her mother and sister, caught in the strong waves on the east coast, were the first victims of the typhoon.