Beijing, Sept 16: At least seven persons were killed and nine others left missing after Typhoon Meranti, the world's strongest typhoon this year, hit China's Fujian province and caused widespread devastation, the local government said on Friday.
The strongest typhoon that hit Fujian on Thursday since records began in 1949 brought gales of up to 48 meters per second and also destroyed an 871-year-old heritage bridge in Yongchun County.
The Dongguan Bridge was a protected heritage site and built in 1145 during the Song Dynasty. Typhoon Meranti has left seven people dead and another nine missing in eastern China's Fujian Province, the local government said on Friday.
An earlier report by state-run Xinhua news agency said 51 people were injured in the typhoon fury. The typhoon made landfall in Xiamen on Thursday with a maximum 15-grade wind force bringing extraordinary rainstorms and has forced 331,000 people to relocate so far in Fujian.
The typhoon also destroyed 1,600 houses, damaged 22,200 hectares of crops and inflicted direct economic losses of 1.7 billion yuan (USD 249 million). The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction has dispatched work teams to assess the damage and help with rescue work.
Local authorities were also required to carry out immediate emergency aid and relief, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Fujian provincial government has so far allocated 60 million yuan in living relief for affected people.
The wind uprooted trees, shattered windows and disrupted water supplies in many communities in Xiamen city. More than 3.2 million homes had no electricity in Fujian at one point and 1.44 million were still without power by Thursday night.
The typhoon also brought heavy rainfall as it moved to lash Zhejiang Province. More than 63,000 people in Zhejiang were relocated.