Death toll from Typhoon Fanapi rises to 54 in S China

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Floods, landslides and heavy downpours brought by typhoon Fanapi had claimed 54 lives in south China's Guangdong Province, while another 42 were missing, local authorities said Thursday.

Meanwhile, more than 1.16 million people were affected and 79,400 in low-lying areas were forced to be evacuated, the provincial flood control headquarters said in a statement.

The provincial government had to use helicopters to airdrop relief materials to victims Thursday.

Rainstorms and and geological disasters had destroyed more than 3,637 homes and inundated more than 35,900 hectares of cropland, the headquarters said.

Direct economic losses were estimated at about 2.11 billion yuan (around 315 million U.S.dollars).

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday that 2,000 tents, and 1,000 folding beds had been sent to Guangdong.

Typhoon Fanapi, the 11th and strongest typhoon that hit China this year, landed in Fujian Province at 7 a.m. Monday, but wreaked most havoc in Guangdong, which neighbors Fujian on the south.

No casualties have been reported in Fujian.

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