Weakened Soudelor Leaves 14 Dead in China, Taiwan

  • VOA News

    August 10, 2015 08:02

    Heavy rain continued Sunday in southeastern China where the remnants of Typhoon Soudelor moved further inland leaving flooding and at least 14 people dead.

    The system, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, hit China's Fujian and Zhejiang provinces the hardest, killing eight people there while triggering mudslides. It knocked out power to more than a million people, and authorities said 250,000 were evacuated from their homes.

    On Saturday, the storm swept across Taiwan with winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, leaving 3 million households without power and littering roads with uprooted trees. Some were still waiting for power to return Sunday.

    Rescue workers walk on a flooded street at a town hit by Typhoon Soudelor in Ningde, Fujian province, China on Aug. 9, 2015. /Reuters

    Taiwan, which normally sees typhoons in late summer and early fall, calls the power outages a record. Winds also knocked down trees and bent power poles while grounding more than 300 flights. The typhoon also dropped more than 1,000 millimeters of rain near the island's northeast coast.

    Officials in Taiwan said the typhoon killed at least six people there, and injured nearly 400. An 8-year-old girl, her mother and twin sister were among the dead or missing after being swept out to sea along the country's east coast.

    Soldiers and rescue crews with search dogs worked through mud and debris Sunday to begin recovery efforts following the storm.

    Though the typhoon weakened before reaching land, forecasters said it was at one point the strongest typhoon so far this year.

    Li Wei-sen, secretary-general of the government's National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, said the worst-hit area was the mountainous tourist district of Wulai, south of the capital Taipei.

    "We still worry about the situation inside the mountainous area because only one road leads to the Wulai district. First part of the foundation washed out during the typhoon," Li said. "We need a couple of days to restore the highway, so in between them we need some air operations to maintain supplies and see any medical need in that district, so that is the most urgent thing right now."

    Taiwan lifted its warnings for the typhoon Sunday morning as the weather system lost power. It had been described as a super-typhoon over the Pacific Ocean before reaching Taiwan.

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