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1 dead, 6 missing after storm

Torrential rain, strong winds and landslides triggered by tropical storm Linfa have left one dead and another six missing in east and south China provinces, local authorities said yesterday.

A landslide triggered by heavy rain in Dapu County in south China's Guangdong Province destroyed a house in Shaping Village, burying a 52-year-old woman surnamed Li and her three-year-old granddaughter, local officials said.

Li was dug out from the debris but died despite treatment. Rescuers were still searching for the granddaughter.

Five people were missing in east China's Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, local authorities said yesterday.

A fisherman in Fujian, where the storm struck, was missing yesterday after setting sail despite warnings, and four other fishermen in neighboring Zhejiang Province, were reported missing at about 6pm after they set out to place crab pots off the coast of Wenling City. Waves at sea were 3 to 4 meters high.

Linfa, the third tropical storm of the year, made landfall at 8:30pm on Sunday in Dongshi Township, Jin°?jiang City in Fujian Province, packing winds of up to 82.8 kilometers per hour.

About 200,000 people were affected by the storm in Fujian. Of those, 130,000 had to evacuate the area. The storm also flooded 32,000 hectares of cropland and destroyed 100 houses in southern parts of the province, a spokesman with the Fujian Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said yesterday.

Direct economic losses were estimated at about 336 million yuan (US$49.4 million), the spokesman said.

"We are still calculating the losses," he said.

The eye of Linfa was located at 26.9 degrees north and 120.3 degrees east as of 3pm yesterday, off the coast in northern Fujian, packing winds of up to 64.8km per hour, and it was continuing to move northeast at 15km per hour, he said.

The Fujian provincial meteorological bureau issued an orange alert yesterday for torrential rain, the second-highest alert, and advised the cancelation of all outdoor gatherings and high-level outdoor work. Rain was forecast in most cities in Fujian for the next two days.


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