Chinese typhoon kills at least 25 people

Winds of over 180km an hour recorded in parts of southern China

People react as waves splash on to the road during Typhoon Usagi in Hong Kong. The powerful typhoon killed at least 25 people after making landfall in Hong Kong and south China’s Guangdong province at the weekend. Photograph:  Tyrone Siu/Reuters

People react as waves splash on to the road during Typhoon Usagi in Hong Kong. The powerful typhoon killed at least 25 people after making landfall in Hong Kong and south China’s Guangdong province at the weekend. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 20:55


The devastating typhoon Usagi killed at least 25 people after making landfall in Hong Kong and south China’s Guangdong province at the weekend. Winds were powerful enough to blow cars off the road and rain caused widespread flooding.

Winds of more than 180km/h were recorded in parts of southern China. About 5.48 million people were affected and 310,000 residents were displaced due to the storm, according to the emergency management office of the Guangdong provincial government.

Some 8,490 houses collapsed and 50,800 hectares of cropland were damaged. The typhoon has resulted in direct economic losses of 7.1 billion yuan (€860 million) in Guangdong province.

Usagi, which is Japanese for rabbit, was designated a super typhoon over the weekend after it passed through the Philippines and Taiwan, moving toward China.

It is the strongest storm to hit the western Pacific this year and it began to hit Hong Kong late on Sunday, causing the cancellation of more than 370 flights.

In Fujian province, more than 80,000 people were moved to safety and 50,000 relief workers were deployed.

Trees were blown down and water and electricity supply was cut off in several counties in the worst-hit area around Shanwei.

Although its power weakened on Sunday, the storm’s winds still reached a speed of 45 metres per second upon landfall in Shanwei at on Sunday. “The toll in our city included seven deaths at a railway construction site. The majority of casualties were due to the collapse of houses where people took shelter,” said Xiao Zhan, deputy head of the Shanwei Water Authority.

A Shanwei resident said it was the worst storm in 30 years. “It is the strongest typhoon I have ever encountered,” said Luo Hailing, a petrol station attendant in Shanwei. “So terrible, lucky we made preparations.”

One local died after being struck by a window pane dislodged by the wind.

The deaths included 13 in Shanwei City, six in Shantou City, three in Jieyang City and one in the provincial capital Guangzhou, Heyuan and Chaozhou respectively.

By Monday, Usagi had been downgraded to a tropical depression.