Typhoon kills 25 in China

Beijing, Sep 23 (IANS) Typhoon Usagi has killed at least 25 people after striking south China's Guangdong province Sunday evening, the provincial flood control headquarters said Monday.

Thirteen deaths were reported in Shanwei City, where 24 others were injured in accidents during the storm, Xinhua reported citing official tallies.

Usagi - the Japanese word for rabbit - was designated a super typhoon Saturday after it passed through the Philippines and Taiwan, moving toward China's mainland.

Although its power weakened Sunday, the storm's winds still reached a speed of 45 metres per second at its eye upon landfall in Shanwei at 7.40 p.m. Sunday.

Usagi has devastated the eastern part of Guangdong, with trees blown down and water and electricity supply cut off in several counties in Shanwei.

As rains stopped Monday, local residents were mobilised to help clean up debris and branches on roads to ease traffic.

The provincial flood control headquarters said the typhoon caused sea water encroachment in coastal areas, river overflow and landslides in rural regions.

Monday, 14 cities in Guangdong, including the provincial capital of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai, as well as neighbouring Hong Kong and Macao, had suspended school classes and air, rail and shipping traffic as a precaution against the storm.

The National Disaster Reduction Commission and the civil affairs ministry have dispatched expert teams to typhoon-hit regions to help disaster relief work.

According to the local civil affairs bureau, more than 3.56 million people in Guangdong have been affected by Usagi, and 226,000 people have been relocated.

The typhoon has also damaged 7,100 homes and resulted in direct economic losses of 3.24 billion yuan ($529.5 million).

Before the typhoon made landfall, Guangdong called more than 47,647 fishing boats to harbour, and over 19,670 residents were taken to temporary shelters.

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