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Typhoon Soudelor
Residents watch on as strong winds of typhoon Soudelor stir up massive waves. Source: nbcnews.com

Typhoon Soudelor wreaks havoc in China

A powerful typhoon has caused mudslides and vicious floods that have left 14 dead in south-east China. Some of the counties affected saw 27 inches (70cm) of rain in 24 hours, which according to state media is the heaviest in 120 years.

Thousands of people have had to be evacuated as the typhoon that tore through Fujian and Zhejiang has left large areas without power. This comes after the typhoon swept through Taiwan, leaving several missing and six confirmed dead.

Among those killed were an eight-year-old and her mother who were swept away to sea. A firefighter was also reportedly left dead after being hit by a drunk driver who was trying to move a fallen tree.

On Saturday Soudelor made landfall in Taiwan, with winds in excess of 142mph tearing down billboards and triggering landslides. According to the Taiwan Power Co half-a-million people were still without power on the island on Sunday.

In anticipation of the Soudelor, Fujian set a typhoon alert and evacuated at least 163,000 people to higher ground, with reports that there were even more evacuations in the neighbouring Zhejiang.

More than 10,000 trees were blown down in Fujian’s main city, Fuzhou, as well as widespread floods. The treacherous weather led to the closing of schools and offices, and cancellation of travel services, such as flights and rail services.

Xinhua news reported that twelve people were left dead as heavy downpours plagued rural areas of Wenzhou municipality in the south of Zhejiang, and caused mudslides. Another two people were killed near Lishui, and four people have been reported missing.

According to the news agency, 1.58 million people have been affected throughout the region and damages of crops and housing have approximately totalled up to 4 billion yuan (£416 million, $644 million).

As Soudelor moves inland it has now been weakened to a tropical storm.

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