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Archive for Saturday, August 19, 2006

China’s death toll from typhoon increases

August 19, 2006

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— The death toll from Typhoon Saomai, the strongest storm to hit China in more than five decades, jumped to 436 after more than 100 new deaths were confirmed in the country's east, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Most of the 106 new deaths were in the cities of Wenzhou and Lishui in Zhejiang province, where 39,000 houses collapsed under the torrential rains and strong winds that Saomai brought when it slammed into the region last week, Xinhua said. Another 11 people were missing.

Zhejiang's earlier death toll had been 87. The previous official death toll from Saomai was 360.

The coastal province of Fujian was the hardest-hit, with 241 dead, mostly fishermen whose boats were sunk by the fury of Saomai's winds.

Saomai was the strongest typhoon to hit China since record-keeping began in 1949, according to the government.

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