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Death Toll in Typhoon Prapiroon Rises to 55 in China
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Typhoon Prapiroon has so far killed at least 55 people and left 17 others missing in south China's Guangdong Province and neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.


The latest increase in the fatalities was from Guangxi, where typhoon Prapiroon has weakened into a tropical storm but kept its influence, with another seven deaths in typhoon-triggered disasters, according to the Guangxi regional department of civil affairs.


Accident of flash flood and landslide brought by typhoon in Laibin and Hengxian, both in Guangxi, killed ten.


A flash flood occurred at a private forest farm in Fenghuang Township of Laibin City at 3:20 AM on Saturday, sweeping away 13 migrant workers who were working on the farm.


Prapiroon brought along torrential rains and strong winds after it began to influence the city from Friday noon, the department said.


The transient workers, who were all from Hunan Province, built a temporary shelter in the nearby valley for the nights. So when the flash flood occurred, they became victims.


The rescuers saved only six of them and found six corpses. One more migrant worker is still missing.


Three more people were killed and one more injured in a landslide happening in Luming Village of Hengzhou Township, Hengxian County at 7 AM on Saturday as one side of a civilian house fell, burying a family of four, said information from the flood control and drought relief headquarters of Hengxian County.


The three killed were all female. And the injured is the only man in the family.


One more death was also reported in Bobai, a county in Yulin of Guangxi, after Typhoon Prapiroon entered Guangxi from Bobai early on Friday, washing it with showers from time to time, said local sources.


Typhoon Prapiroon made landfall at the south China coastal area between Yangxi County and Dianbai County in western Guangdong at 7:20 PM Thursday, leaving at least 38 dead and 14 more missing in Guangdong alone.


Prapiroon, the sixth typhoon of the year, packed up strong winds and dumped torrential rains in Guangdong, with Taishan, Enping, and Yangchun being worst hit, affecting 3.72 million people and razing 7,000 houses. The direct economic losses are forecast at 2.4 billion yuan (US$300 million).


It even produced a tornado which struck areas including Foshan, Shanwei and Shaoguan in Guangdong on Friday, causing nine deaths in Foshan, said a spokesman from the Guangdong Provincial Office for Drought, Flood and Wind Control.


Information from the Civil Affairs Bureau of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region said 1.43 million people in 28 counties and urban areas were affected by the rains brought along by Prapiroon, including 219,441 people who were displaced.


Prapiroon, which means Rain God in Thai, formed in the South China Sea and strengthened into a typhoon on Wednesday noon.


(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2006)


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