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July 11, 2016

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6 killed, 8 missing as Nepartak slams into east China provinces

AT least six people were dead and eight others missing after Typhoon Nepartak battered China’s east coast with heavy rain and strong winds that toppled homes and triggered landslides, officials in Fujian and Jiangxi provinces said yesterday.

Fujian’s water resources department said more than 438,000 people had been relocated.

Five airports were closed, prompting the cancellation of nearly 400 flights, while more than 300 trains were also cancelled. Damaged power stations left swaths of the province without electricity, Xinhua news agency said.

Nepartak, the first typhoon of the season, first struck Taiwan on Friday with even greater power, leaving two people dead and 72 injured.

It weakened into a strong tropical storm after making landfall in Fujian on Saturday, but continued to soak the region, where emergency workers scrambled to reach residents trapped on submerged buildings and collapsed homes.

Ferry services and flights between Fujian and Taiwan were halted on Friday, as were trains between cities in Fujian and neighboring Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.

The Fujian water resources department’s website said two people were killed and 17 others were missing.

Unusually heavy rain has pounded southern China in recent months, triggering severe flooding along rivers, including the Yangtze. Meteorologists blame the floods on a particularly intense El Nino weather pattern that has resulted in up to a 50 percent increase in rainfall in certain areas.

On Friday, the government said that 164 people have been killed by floods, hail and landslides since June 30, while 32 million people across 26 provinces have been affected.

Dramatic pictures have emerged of people pushing cars through waist-high water and a stadium with rainwater filled to its rafters in Wuhan, a city particularly hard hit.


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