BEIJING (Reuters) – Days of relentless rain from the remnants of former Typhoon Haikui have caused more than 100 landslides, trapped about 1,360 residents in floodwaters and killed at least seven people in China’s south, said state media.
Typhoon Haikui hit southern China eight days ago and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but unrelenting rain continues to deluge southwestern Guangxi.
Incessant storms in the last three days in most areas of Yulin city caused 115 landslides that destroyed roads, uprooting trees, inducing floods and leading authorities to issue a warning of emergencies on national and provincial trunk highways, state media said.
Three people remain missing and rescue operations were ongoing.
Further south near the coast, Beihai city was inundated from widespread downpour. Rescuers were seen treading thigh-deep in waterlogged areas evacuating residents in boats. About 1,360 people were trapped on Tuesday, state media said.
The city’s observatory raised its storm warning to the highest in a four-tier alert system after more than 101mm (4 inches) rain poured in a three-hour period on Tuesday morning, and flagged risks of flash floods, geological disasters and waterlogging in urban and rural areas.
Haikui, which weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall in southeastern Fujian province on Sept. 5, had last week wrecked havoc in the populous city of Shenzhen dumping historic rainfall since records began in 1952. Neighbouring Hong Kong was also pelted by the worst storm in 140 years.
Scientists warn that typhoons hitting China are becoming more intense and their paths growing more complex, escalating risk of disaster, even in coastal cities such as Shenzhen that already have strong flood defence capabilities.
China Meteorological Administration forecast heavy rains in the south and southeast parts of Guangxi on Tuesday and Wednesday, with storms in the southwest. Localised hourly precipitation could hit 70mm (2.76 inches) in some areas, it said.
The national forecaster also warned relevant departments and people in Guangdong and Guangxi to be alert to any delayed effects of disasters from frequent rainfall in recent days.
(Reporting by Liz Lee and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Michael Perry)