Typhoon Lekima death toll hits 49 in China

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The death toll from Typhoon Lekima rose to 49 on Tuesday and 21 were still missing after the monster storm wreaked havoc on China's eastern coast, causing huge damage with strong gales and torrential rain.

Lekima hit the three Chinese provinces of Zhejiang, Shandong and Anhui over the weekend and forced more than a million residents to flee.

China's official news agency Xinhua said late Monday that at least 49 people are dead with dozens still missing.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed flooded fields and streets, submerged vehicles, scattered debris and trees blown over as strong winds and rain pounded cities along the seaboard.

Lekima made landfall in Zhejiang province on Saturday, which bore the brunt of the damage after the storm hit with winds of nearly 190 kilometres per hour (120 miles per hour) and pounded the coast with waves several metres in height.

Xinhua said the rainfall recorded this weekend in Shandong province was the largest since records began in 1952.

The natural disaster has inflicted economic losses of at least 26 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion), authorities said.

Rescue workers were shown on CCTV using boats and rope pulleys to carry out stranded residents over the weekend.

Thousands of flights were cancelled and train routes disrupted due to the typhoon, the state broadcaster reported, as Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities grounded planes.

Hundreds of tourist sites along the coast, including Shanghai Disneyland, were closed ahead of the storm.

Typhoon Lekima kills 44 in eastern China

The death toll from typhoon Lekima in eastern China rose to 44 people on Monday morning, according to official data, as the storm continued up the coast, racking up billions of dollars in economic losses and widely disrupting travel, Reuters has reported.

An additional 12 people were recorded dead from the storm, including seven from Zhejiang province and five from Shandong, with 16 people missing, according to data from provincial emergency bureaus and state media.

State broadcaster CCTV had put the death toll at 32 on Sunday.

Typhoon Lekima made landfall early on Saturday in China's Zhejiang province, with winds gusting up to 187 kmh (116 mph). The centre of the storm has since travelled north through Shandong and off the coast.

Many of the earlier deaths occurred when a natural dam collapsed in Zhejiang after a deluge of 160 mm (6.2 inches) of rain within three hours.

The Shandong Emergency Management Bureau said more than 180,000 people were evacuated in the province, adding to an earlier evacuation of roughly one million people in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces as well as the financial hub of Shanghai.

The latest update from Shandong brings the total estimated economic toll of the storm to 18 billion yuan ($2.55 billion) in China, including damage to 364,000 hectares of crops and more than 36,000 homes. Shandong alone estimated the total economic impact on agriculture was 939 million yuan.

Typhoon Lekima death toll reaches 33 in China

The death toll from a powerful typhoon that hit southeastern China rose to 33 on Sunday, Associated Press, AP, reported on Sunday.

Rescue workers were using rubber dinghies to rescue stranded people as swift currents swept by homes. China's emergency broadcasting network said that 16 people were still missing in Zhejiang province, where 32 died. It reported one more death in neighbouring Anhui province.

Typhoon Lekima triggered landslides and floods after making landfall in Zhejiang early Saturday, about 300 kilometres south of Shanghai.

Most of the victims were in a village in Yongjia county, where a landslide blocked a river that then poured into the small town, killing 23 people. Nine others were unaccounted for.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed buildings that had been smashed by the raging waters and workers using backhoes to clean up the debris.

To the north, parts of the city of Linhai remained flooded on Sunday, with water reaching up to the top of the first floor of buildings, leaving only treetops sticking out. The CCTV showed people being rescued with life vests and boats in nearby Xianju county.

Lekima, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to dump heavy rain on China's northeast in the coming days as it moves up the Pacific coast. It forced the closing of Shanghai Disneyland on Saturday, said the AP report.

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