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Typhoon Mujigae leaves 15 dead or missing in south China

At least 15 people have died or remain missing and more than 200 others have been injured since the powerful typhoon Mujigae made a surprise landing in southern China since Sunday.

In Guangdong, three people drowned and four others went missing after two fishing boats sank Sunday, while another person was killed by a collapsed structure, according to a statement issued by the provincial civil affairs department Monday.

In addition, tornadoes triggered by the typhoon damaged houses and destroyed other infrastructure in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, and Foshan, killing six people.

In neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, one person was killed after being hit by a fallen tree in Nanning, the region's capital city.

The typhoon has affected 3.16 million residents in 25 counties of Guangdong, forcing the evacuation of nearly 150,000 people.

Inflicting direct economic loss of 12.5 billion yuan (about 1.97 billion U.S. dollars), it destroyed more than 2,800 rooms and damaged nearly 196,000 hectares of farmland in the province.

The provincial civil affairs department has allocated 20 million yuan in disaster relief fund to worst-hit areas.

Guangxi has evacuated 66,300 people as the disaster affected about 1.4 million residents in 22 counties. It caused direct economic losses of 175 million yuan for the region.

Packing winds up to 60 meters per second, the typhoon landed in Zhanjiang, Guangdong at 2:10 p.m. Sunday.

"Mujigae is a super-fast attacker that has not been seen in decades. At least I have not seen in the last 30 years as a forecaster," said Lin Liangxun, chief expert at Guangdong provincial meteorological station.

"From its formation to landing, the typhoon traveled 800 miles in 57 hours, while most other typhoons land in Guangdong three to four days after formation," said Lin.

In Zhanjiang, gales and downpour brought a telecommunications blackout, cutting off power and water in most areas. At least 10 percent of households were still without electricity Monday.

China Southern Power Grid has sent workers from neighboring areas to Zhanjiang, but restoration of the power supply will take longer time due to damage to the local grid.

In Daba Township of Guangxi, village head Pang Meizhi told Xinhua that half of the village's paddy fields would have no harvest at all. The village has a power blackout and unstable telecommunications connection.

Li Bing, chief of Daba, said the typhoon has been the worst natural disaster in Daba for years, affecting seven villages and nearly 10,000 residents.


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