Six deaths and millions without power after typhoon batters South-East China

Authorities assisting victims of a flood caused by Soudelor (AP)
Authorities assisting victims of a flood caused by Soudelor (AP)

Six people have died and over a million homes have been left without power after typhoon Soudelor struck south-eastern China late on Saturday night.

The storm system struck China’s Fujian province, uprooting trees, traffic lights and power lines, and left six people dead and four missing, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency. Soudelor caused all domestic flights on the island and at least 37 international flights to be cancelled on Saturday. At least 101 people were injured in the storm had previously also caused more than 3 million households in Taiwan to lose electricity.

The typhoon weakened later on Saturday and has since been classified as a tropical storm, but strong winds and heavy rains were expected to continue.

Some 163,000 people were evacuated and about 32,000 ships were ordered back to port and more than 7,000 soldiers and police were on standby, provincial authorities said.

The provincial capital of Fuzhou was also hit with heavy rain and strong winds, causing all flights to the city to be cancelled. Neighbouring provinces have reportedly also issued typhoon alerts.

On Thursday, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported one eight-year-old girl and her mother died when they were swept out to sea from a beach on the east coast. The girl’s twin sister is still unaccounted for.