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Typhoon Utor kills 3 in S China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-16 01:12

GUANGZHOU - Three people have died and five others remain missing in south China due to Typhoon Utor, which has been bringing high winds and torrential rains to the region since Wednesday.

More than 1 million people in South China's Guangdong province have been affected by downpours and floods triggered by the typhoon, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

The typhoon has forced the relocation of 161,500 people, as well as destroyed nearly 1,500 homes, the headquarters said.

In the cities of Zhanjiang and Wuchuan, several villages were flooded, as embankments along the swollen Quehua River were breached on Wednesday. Four hundred armed police are participating in rescue efforts.

Utor was the strongest typhoon of the year before it crossed the Philippines earlier this week, killing at least seven people and leaving four missing.

The typhoon made landfall at 3:50 pm Wednesday near the city of Yangjiang in western Guangdong, packing winds of over 150 km per hour at its center, local meteorological authorities said.

It moved into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Wednesday night and is expected to linger there for four days.

On Thursday, the railway bureau in Nanning, Guangxi's capital, announced that sections of a railway linking the region to Central China's Hunan province collapsed after being soaked by heavy rain.

Passenger services on the line were suspended on Wednesday but resumed gradually on Thursday following the completion of repairs.

The Guangxi water conservation department said major rivers in the province are flooding due to downpours brought by the typhoon.

About 245,000 people from three cities and seven counties in Guangxi have been affected by the downpours brought by Utor, according to regional civil affairs authorities.

The storm has also forced 1,800 ships to return to harbor in south China, as well as led to the evacuation of 8,000 tourists on Weizhou Island.

Civil affairs authorities in Guangxi said 3,890 hectares of crops have been damaged and 176 houses have collapsed due to the storm, which has also caused direct economic losses of 34.53 million yuan ($5.6 million dollars).

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