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China typhoon toll reaches over 44

China typhoon toll reaches over 44

Beijing: The death toll due to typhoon Lekima that has hit the provinces of Zhejiang and Shandong provinces of China's has increased to 44, while 12 others were reported missing, authorities said on Monday.

By Monday morning, the death toll in Zhejiang increased to 39 while nine others remained missing, Xinhua news agency quoted the provincial flood control headquarters as saying.

The ninth and strongest typhoon of the year has affected 6.68 million residents in Zhejiang, among whom 1.26 million were evacuated. 

It damaged 234,000 hectares of crops, inflicting a direct economic loss of 24.22 billion yuan ($3 billion).

Lekima made landfall on Saturday afternoon in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang. 

It made a second landing on Sunday night on the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province.

In Shandong, it has left five people dead and seven missing, affecting 1.66 million people and forcing the relocation of 183,800 as of Monday morning, said the provincial emergency management department. 

Heavy rains and strong gales have damaged 175,400 hectares of crops and toppled 609 houses, inflicting a direct economic loss of 1.48 billion yuan ($211 million), it said.

The coastal city of Qingdao issued a red alert for heavy rain on Sunday. All tourist destinations have been closed to the public, while 127 trains and all long-distance bus service have been suspended.

Rescue and relief work was underway on Monday in both the affected provinces.

Lekima is expected to travel through Shandong and enter the Bohai Sea by Monday.



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