Rescue workers on Tuesday began searching for the hundreds of people feared buried in landslips in Taiwan and south-eastern China following two days of devastation wrought by the typhoon Morakot.
The typhoon, which struck Taiwan on Friday and moved into south-eastern China on Sunday, left at least 47 people dead and displaced more than one million people. Local media in Taiwan reported on Tuesday that up to 600 people were feared buried in mudslips in the mountain village of Hsiao-lin in the south. Authorities said 150 people had been rescued so far.
By Monday, when Morakot reached China’s most populous city, Shanghai, its intensity had been reduced to that of a tropical storm. The dire warnings forecast by the city’s authorities left the streets deserted through the weekend. Though the city was drenched by heavy rains, the impact was limited to flooding in suburbs and disruptions to public transportation.
But towns and villages only 320 km south of here were not as fortunate, and they took the brunt of Morakot’s force. In the town of Pengxi in Zhejiang province, at least six apartment buildings collapsed late on Monday night, killing at least two people and injuring four others.
Officials said more than 1.4 million people had been relocated in the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi, and more than 6,000 homes had been destroyed in the three provinces. Authorities estimated the cost of the damage at 9 billion Yuan ($ 1.3 billion).
In Shanghai, gale force winds damaged cars and brought public transportation to a halt. “The roads here are now like swimming pools,” said Dong Yufang, a resident of the southern suburb of Minhang which experienced heavy flooding. Ms. Dong, like most of the city’s residents, stayed indoors all weekend. “The only difficulties we have faced are that the buses didn’t run, and vegetable prices have doubled. But looking at what happened elsewhere, things could have been a lot worse.”