Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Death toll from Typhoon Rammasun reaches 33 in China, at least 97 deaths in the Philippines

The death toll from Super Typhoon Rammasun has risen to at least 33 after seven more bodies were recovered, state-run media reported on Monday. The powerful storm made landfall in China on Friday after killing nearly 100 people in the Philippines.

Thirteen deaths were reported in south China's Hainan island province, nine in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and eleven in neighboring Yunnan province. The death toll figures are based on tallies gathered from both central and local government agencies, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

Rammasun, the strongest typhoon to hit south China in four decades, caused gales, downpours and floods in many provinces across southern China, affecting more than 8 million people in the provinces of Hainan, Guangdong, Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Additionally, Rammasun severely damaged power and water facilities, ports and roads, as well as telecommunication networks, hampering transportation and rescue work.

Early Monday morning, a mudslide triggered by the remnants of the typhoon hit a village in Yunnan province, killing at least 10 people and leaving 10 others missing. Teams from the provincial disaster relief bureau and civil affairs department have been sent to assess the damage and begin rescue work, Xinhua reported.

A total of 608,000 people have been displaced by the storm and over 240,000 are in urgent need of basic necessities, according to government figures.

Direct economic losses in Guangxi and Hainan are each estimated at more than 6 billion yuan (965.9 million U.S. dollars), according to Xinhua. However, despite zero deaths thus far, Guangdong has suffered the worst economic losses, with an estimated loss of more than 12.7 billion yuan (2 billion U.S. dollars), and 7,800 houses and 110,000 hectares (271,800 acres) of crops demolished.

Reflecting on the disaster, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang told authorities to make people's safety a top priority when fighting floods and droughts. As China enters its peak season for natural disasters, Wang said that efforts in flood control and drought relief should be increased, calling attention to inadequate flood control facilities in some places and weak links in emergency response.

Wang also said authorities should ensure that disaster control and relief measures are implemented efficiently, as well as forecasts and early warnings being improved, according to Xinhua. In response to losses caused by Rammasun, Wang said the central government will set aside funds for rescue and relief.

Rammasun made landfall in the Philippines on Tuesday afternoon and exited on Thursday, leaving at least 97 people dead, 460 injured and 6 missing, according to the latest report issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday. More than 330,000 people were affected in the country and, of that number, more than 97,000 people were displaced and served at evacuation centers.

After leaving the Philippines, Typhoon Rammasun headed for China, making landfall in northern Hainan Island early Friday morning. Next, the deadly typhoon headed for a final landfall near the northeastern border of Vietnam and China, where it dissipated over the Chinese province of Yunnan on Sunday.

Rammasun, which is known in the Philippines as Typhoon Glenda, was part of the 2014 Pacific typhoon season which runs throughout the year, with most tropical cyclones forming between May and November.

Tuesday 22 July 2014



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