Reports: Typhoon triggers China landslide

A girl is carried out from mudslide caused by Typhoon Morakot in southern Taiwan on Monday.
A massive mudslide unleashed by Typhoon Morakot spilled into a coastal China town, crushing a half dozen buildings and burying an unknown number of people, state-run media reported Tuesday.

The mudslide occurred at about 10:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. GMT) Monday in Pengxi Township within Zhejiang province — one of eastern China’s regions hardest hit by Morakot, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities. The incident destroyed apartment buildings standing four stories tall at the foot of a mountain. Rescuers pulled out six survivors from the debris; one was in critical condition, Xinhua reported. However, it wasn’t clear how many others were buried, and rescuers were hindered by huge piles of mud and rock. The deadly typhoon slammed into China’s coastal provinces and Taiwan over the weekend, displacing more than 1 million people and left dozens missing, state-run media reported. “The most pressing needs now are providing shelter, food, and clean water for those who have had to evacuate their homes,” says Hank Du, executive director for the humanitarian group, World Vision, in Taiwan. “We also want to make sure the children are secure and have a safe place where they are cared for.” The group has started to distributed food, cleaning supplies, raincoats, flashlights and other supplies to those displaced in several Taiwanese communities.

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“Many of the affected live in remote areas and the roads are in bad condition. Highways and bridges are flooded and blocked by mudslides, fallen trees and other large debris,” said Wesley Chen of the humanitarian group, World Vision. “For those who can’t reach shelters, we are working to find ways to bring aid to them.” High winds and torrential rain from Typhoon Morakot hit coastal provinces Fujian and Zhejian hardest, and caused the worst flooding in decades in Taiwan — where flood waters as high as seven feet were reported, China Daily said. The typhoon swept across the Philippines and Taiwan’s Hualien region before crashing into eastern China, claiming nearly two dozens lives along the way, the newspaper reported. Morakot has claimed at least six lives in mainland China, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

Nearly 9 million people in Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces were affected by Morakot, forcing 1.4 million people to relocate, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said, according to Xinhua. The ministry said more than 6,000 homes were toppled and 387,300 hectares of cropland were damaged, resulting in about 9 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) in direct losses, Xinhua reported.