Nearly 100 dead or missing in China amid Kaemi onslaught
The official death toll from Kaemi, which hit China's southeast coast on Tuesday night before being downgraded to a tropical storm, had risen to 32, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Kaemi, meaning "ant" in Korean, has caused at least another 65 to go missing, the agency said, citing flood control officials.
The storms has gradually moved northwards and inland, leaving a trail of destruction in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hunan, and forcing the evacuation of over one million people.
It has triggered landslides and floods, sweeping away an entire barracks in Jiangxi, with six people killed and another 38 soldiers and relatives missing, according to Xinhua.
In the eastern province of Anhui, which was feeling the full force of the storm on Friday, 21,000 hectares (52,000 acres) of farmland had been damaged or otherwise impacted, while 2,695 houses had collapsed.
Southern and central China has suffered two months of brutal weather, with authorities reporting over the weekend before Kaemi struck that more than 1,300 people had died from weather-related disasters since May.
Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Thursday called for more precise weather forecasts and early warnings to reduce the impact of disasters, Xinhua said.
China's typhoon season normally occurs in August and September. But Typhoon Chanchu, the first of the season this year, hit in mid-May. Kaemi is the fifth of the year.
"The main characteristics of this series of typhoons are that they have come earlier than normal and that their effect on the inland areas of China has been rather serious," Yang Ke, a meteorologist with the China Meteorological Administration, said this week.
ph/kma/nw AFP 280541 GMT 07 06
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 07/28/2006 01:42:07
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