Thirty-six people have died and nine others are missing following the trail of destruction left by Typhoon Sepat in Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.
Chinese university students are evacuated from a flooded campus in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, August 19, 2007. [Xinhua]
By 6 pm, the typhoon had flooded 313,900 ha of crops and damaged 61,000 houses, of which 16,000 collapsed, and forced the four provinces in east and central China to evacuate 1.37 million people.
The total economic loss in the provinces has reached 4.97 billion yuan (US$663 million).
More than 100 counties in eastern and southern parts of Hunan are suffering torrential rain and high winds. By 4 pm, the worst-hit county of Yongxing had received 196 mm of rain and reported the death of a local farmer from a landslide.
The typhoon has affected 1.53 million people, destroyed 60,000 hectares of crops and the province has evacuated 270,000 people.
The local meteorological bureau predicts Sepat will linger in the province for another 48 hours.
Sepat landed in Fujian at 2:00 am Sunday, leaving a trail of chaos in which landslides had killed 18 people and left 5 missing in Fujian by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The ninth typhoon of the year has brought an average 200 mm of rainfall to most counties in Fujian since last Friday. The worst-hit county of Jiaocheng received 490 mm.
So far, Sepat has affected 2.22 million people in Fujian while destroyed 7,300 houses and 118,000 ha of crops, causing an economic loss of 2.2 billion yuan (US$293 million).
Sepat has also caused 13 deaths and three missing in Wenzhou, a manufacturing center in Zhejiang, including 11 deaths from a tornado that smashed 156 houses on Saturday night.
On Sunday, a landslide triggered by the downpours hit a minibus in Wenzhou, killing one of its 19 passengers. One woman was found dead in the debris of her house the same day.