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Typhoon ‘Lekima’ death toll in east China rises to 30

RESCUERS search for victims of a landslide triggered by typhoon ‘Lekima’ in Yongjia county in eastern China's Zhejiang province.  (Chinatopix via AP)

RESCUERS search for victims of a landslide triggered by typhoon ‘Lekima’ in Yongjia county in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. (Chinatopix via AP)

SHANGHAI, China (AFP) – The death toll from typhoon “Lekima” (typhoon “Hanna” in  the Philippines)  rose to 30 in eastern China, local authorities said yesterday, as rescue teams worked to find more than a dozen missing after the storm triggered a landslide and forced more than a million people to evacuate.

The monster storm arrived in Wenling city in the early hours of Saturday, packing winds of 187 kilometers per hour, with waves several meters high hitting the coastline.

At least 18 people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential downpours in the municipality of Wenzhou, around 400 kilometers  south of Shanghai, national broadcaster CCTV said Saturday.

A further 12 deaths were announced yesterday but it was unclear if they were from the same incident.

Eighteen people were still missing, according to Zhejiang provincial authorities.

“Currently, search and rescue work from various regions is still ongoing,” they said on social media platform Weibo.

More than a million people were evacuated from their homes ahead of the typhoon, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Some 110,000 people were housed in shelters.

According to Zhejiang authorities, the natural disaster has incurred economic losses of more than 15.8 billion yuan ($2.2 billion).

Footage from CCTV yesterday showed rescue workers on boats navigating through Linhai city, where streets were completely submerged in muddy water.

Local Chinese media reports also showed teams pulling stranded people from bright orange inflatable boats, with skies starting to clear as the storm moved further up the coast.

Lekima had crossed into Jiangsu province north of Shanghai and was expected to hit Shandong province later yesterday, CCTV reported. Both provinces have already issued a red alert for torrential rain.

More than 3,200 flights have been cancelled due to the typhoon, the state broadcaster reported, as Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities grounded planes.

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