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Typhoon Soudelor Kills at Least 14 in China

Beijing, August 10 (RHC)-- At least 14 people have been killed in China as Typhoon Soudelor hits the country, state media says. The Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday that four others went missing as some parts of the country were hit by the heaviest rains in a century.

Most of the casualties, 12 of them, were reported in and around Wenzhou city in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, where downpours caused mudslides and several houses collapsed.

Local disaster relief officials have told local media that the dead and missing may have been washed away by floods or buried under ruined homes. Packing winds of up to 230 kilometers (140 miles) an hour, the typhoon was called the biggest of the year by the government.

About 1.58 million people in the city were affected with state officials estimating that the direct economic losses stood at 4 billion Yuan ($644 million).

The storm first landed in Fujian province and initially cut power to more than three million homes there, but more than a third had electricity restored by Sunday morning.

China's National Meteorological Center forecast the typhoon would be downgraded to a tropical depression by Sunday night as it moved further inland.

Before making landfall in China, Soudelor left six people dead in Taiwan, where it ripped up trees and triggered landslides, damaged electricity lines, and knocked out power to a record four million households.

Edited by Ed Newman
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