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Zhejiang mudslide kills at least 25
By Shao Xiaoyi and Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-16 06:39

HANGZHOU: An avalanche of mud and rock caused by Typhoon Rananim left at least 25 people dead, 22 missing and nine injured in the mountain areas of Zhejiang Province.

The tragedy happened in the northern part of Leqing in the province in the early morning of Friday.

Officials with the local flood control and drought relief headquarters said 52 houses were destroyed, some of which are classrooms and dormitories of primary and middle schools.

A total of 27 families were affected by the disaster, which took place at 4 to 5 am, when most of the residents were still fast asleep.

Typhoon Rananim, the 14th typhoon of the year ripped through East China's Zhejiang Province Thursday night, has already killed 115 people in the province.

Local media is reporting that life is on its way back to normal in typhoon-hit regions in the province.

In Wenling, which is the hardest hit city, about 38,000 evacuated residents have returned home or settled in temporary places until they rebuild their houses.

"We are ready to put up houses again and start a new life," said Liang Wugui, a migrant worker from Yunnan Province in Wenling, adding that they feel comforted by the fact that local government has provided board and lodging.

By yesterday afternoon, electricity in about 70 per cent of areas hit by power outages had been restored, according to the local power provider.

Power is expected to be returned to those currently experiencing outages by Wednesday, said an official with local power supply bureau.

Most damaged roads and expressways had been opened to traffic.

Victims' relatives in Xinhe town of Wenling have received subsidies from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, according to Zhang Wenyang, top official of Xinhe town.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has allocated 46 million yuan (US$5.52 million) to typhoon-stricken areas in Zhejiang Province. The local government will also pay compensation to the victims's relatives.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Finance have also appropriated 15 million yuan (US$1.8 million) to help reconstruction work.

Also, insurance companies have begun their investigation into payments for declared property losses.

In Taizhou, one of the worst-hit areas, damaged factories with insurance reached to 633, according to statistics from local Insurance Association.

Tons of bleaching powder and disinfecting drugs were delivered to local residents to prevent epidemic-prone diseases from spreading, according to officials from the provincial bureau of public health.

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