Flooding and landslides from typhoon kill 18 in China, dozens still missing

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Typhoon flooding kills 18 in China, dozens missing

BEIJING — Heavy rains from the strongest storm to hit China this year continued to threaten the south Wednesday after causing flooding and landslides that have killed 18 people so far and left at least 44 missing, officials said.

Typhoon Fanapi swamped Guangdong province after making a direct hit on the island of Taiwan on Sunday and killing two there.

China’s national meteorological center forecast heavy or torrential rains for parts of central and western parts of Guangdong through Thursday morning.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs reported that 18 have been killed in landslides and flooding since Sunday.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said the dead included five people killed when a dam at the Xinyi Yinyan Tin Mine in Xinyi city was hit by a landslide and collapsed. The report cited city officials.

Nearly 350 houses were toppled in Xinyi, Xinhua reported.

The Civil Affairs Ministry, in a statement on its website, estimated the typhoon has caused 867 million yuan ($12 million) in direct economic losses in Guangdong.

In southern Taiwan, two people died in flash flooding caused by Fanapi, which did tens of millions of dollars of damage, dumping more than 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some places.

Fanapi was the first major storm to strike the island this year and the 11th typhoon to hit China. It had weakened significantly before landing in China’s Fujian province.

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