Typhoon Lekima death toll reaches 33 in China

The death toll from a powerful typhoon that hit southeastern China rose to 33 on Sunday, as rescue workers used rubber dinghies to reach stranded people as swift currents swept by their 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.


A man rows an inflatable kayak carrying a boy on a flooded street after Typhoon Lekima hit Wenling, also in Zhejiang province, Saturday. (Reuters)

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. 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.

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