Typhoon Mujigae lashes southern China, at least four dead

Updated: 2015-10-05 06:36


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Typhoon Mujigae lashes southern China, at least four dead

A fallen billboard blocks a street in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, after Typhoon Mujigae made landfall near the city on Sunday. At least one fisherman was reported killed and another 16 were missing after the typhoon hit the city at 2:10 pm, according to the local maritime rescue center. In another development, three people were killed and about 80 were injured when a tornado hit the Shunde district in the Guangdong city of Foshan. [WU LU/XINHUA]

SHANGHAI - A typhoon with winds up to 112 miles an hour lashed China's south coast on Sunday, killing at least four people and leaving a trail of destruction and flooding as authorities issued the highest "red alert" emergency response.

Howling winds and snarling seas whipped up by Typhoon Mujigae caught several fishing vessels stranded out at sea, with 16 fishermen missing and one dead, according to Xinhua. Three more people were killed and 80 injured by a tornado in the city of Foshan.

Typhoon Mujigae hit land near the coastal city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province at around 2:00pm on Sunday afternoon, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said.

Television reports and images circulating on China's popular social media site Sina Weibo showed flooded streets, trees uprooted and vehicles overturned by the fierce winds.

The typhoon had prompted coastal provinces in southern China to order fishing fleets to stay ashore and to cancel scores of flights and rail services. The main affected areas are the southern island province of Hainan as well as Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

The winds - estimated to be between 162 and 180 km (100-112 miles) per hour at their peak - knocked out power grids along the coast, with large areas left without electricity, water or telecommunications networks, Xinhua said.

In Hainan and coastal Guangdong province, around 60,000 fishing boats were recalled to harbour to shelter from the storm, Xinhua said.

The typhoon is likely to disrupt plans for thousands trying to travel during the current week-long public holiday in China. Xinhua said about 80,000 people had travelled to Hainan on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine coast guard searched for 23 fishing boats with more than 120 fishermen lost when Mujigae hit the main island of Luzon.

Nearly 30 fishing boats with more than 150 fishermen were returning from the South China Sea when Mujigae caught them at sea, the regional disaster and risk reduction agency said in a report on Sunday.

Commander Armand Balilo, coast guard spokesman, said search-and-rescue ships were scouring the sea west of Pangasinan, Ilocos and Zambales after two cargo ships bound for Japan had picked up nine fishermen from a capsized boat.