China

Typhoon Sally's death toll climbs to 147

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BEIJING (CP) -- The death toll from Typhoon Sally in south China rose to 147 today, and more than 50 others were reported missing. More than 5,000 people were injured when the typhoon lashed Guangdong and Guangxi provinces on Monday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said today.

It said 272,000 houses were destroyed and 1.2 million were damaged, forcing 170,000 people to evacuate.

The typhoon damaged 688,000 hectares of farmland and caused heavy losses to roads, electric lines and dikes.

Guangdong, China's most developed province, suffered the heaviest loss of lives. The ministry said 123 people were killed there and 24 in neighboring Guangxi.

A government spokesman in Guangdong said 32 fishing boats sank and 15 were still missing.

Soldiers and paramilitary police were deployed to help with rescue work in the city of Zhanjiang, where almost all trees in the city and its suburbs had been uprooted by the storm's fierce winds.

Economic losses in Zhanjiang and neighboring Maoming were estimated at 12.8 billion yuan ($2 billion Cdn).

Rail and highway traffic had been suspended. Water supplies and electricity were cut off but in some areas had been restored by this morning.

The typhoon follows floods that swept across central and southern China in July, killing at least 2,700 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.