Archive for Monday, July 17, 2006

Tropical Storm Bilis kills at least 115

July 17, 2006

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— Tropical storm Bilis killed at least 115 people and injured hundreds as it pounded China's southeast over the weekend, toppling houses and forcing the evacuation of a prison and thousands of villages, reports said Sunday.

Thousands were stranded by high water after Bilis slammed into the coast Friday with a drenching rain, flooding farms and damaging roads and railways. Scores of people were reported missing.

Hardest-hit was coastal province of Fujian, with 43 deaths, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, without saying how the deaths occurred.

Rising water damaged the main railway line linking Beijing with Guangzhou, causing delays for thousands of travelers.

A Russian vessel sank off China's coast during the storm, but the 11-member crew was rescued, Xinhua said. China evacuated more than 250,000 fishermen and others from coastal areas and canceled airline flights ahead of the storm.

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