The death toll from Typhoon Saola rose on Friday to 44 in the Philippines and Taiwan as storms and Typhoon Damrey made landfall in China, where two died and about 770,000 were evacuated.

The Philippines recorded 39 deaths in floods and accidents caused by Saola’s torrential rains and strong winds, the Office of Civil Defence said. At least two people were missing and feared dead.

Taiwan residents spent Friday cleaning up storm damage and returning to work, a day after Saola slammed into the island, packing winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour, dumping 1.8 metres of rain and killing five people. Two were missing, the government’s disaster operations centre said.

Saola weakened into a tropical storm before making landfall on Friday morning in China’s south-eastern province of Fujian with winds of 90 kph at its centre, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

It was the second tropical cyclone to make landfall in China in little more than nine hours after Damrey hit Thursday night in the eastern province of Jiangsu and affected neighbouring Shandong province.

The two storms caused widespread damage in four provinces, cutting electricity lines and roads in some areas and forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights.

The Fujian provincial government said it had evacuated 306,000 people by Friday morning while the Ministry of Civil Affairs said the three eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong evacuated 461,000 people.

At least two people died and about 1,000 buildings were destroyed in Shandong’s worst-hit Rizhao area, which recorded 174 millimetres of rain brought by Typhoon Damrey on Friday morning, the ministry said.

The Shandong provincial government said Damrey damaged nearly 30,000 buildings, killed two people and injured 29 in Rizhao.

In Taiwan, Saola also caused fallen trees, extensive flooding and landslides, injuring 16.

In the Philippines, 33 people were injured and 231,384 displaced, including more than 17,000 forced to stay in evacuation centres, the Office of Civil Defence said.

Saola, locally called Gener, had battered the northern and central Philippines since Saturday. It blew out of the country on Friday.

The Taiwan government said it evacuated 8,081 residents from mountainous areas hit by heavy rains and swollen rivers. About 3,280 people were staying in public shelters.

In the eastern coastal county of Hualien, authorities airlifted food and supplies on Friday to 279 residents of three villages isolated by washed-out roads, local reports said.

Agricultural losses were estimated at 218 million Taiwan dollars (7.3 million US dollars).

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