Wendy Death Toll Hits 133

[Excerpted from China Daily, September 7, 1999]

The death toll from tropical storm Wendy has risen from 118 to 133 in Wenzhou, eastern Zhejiang Province, a local government official told yesterday.

The violent rainstorm, which lashed the city on Saturday, also injured over 2,600 people and has left 59 missing.

"This is the most serious storm in a century. Direct economic losses have reached 2.3 billion yuan (US$277 million), and 2.21 million people in 2,012 villages have been affected," said Chen Jiming, spokesman for the local government.

Some 528,000 people have been evacuated to safety, he added.

..... The rainstorm inundated over 20,000 hectares of farmland, killed 38,000 livestock and caused 294 million yuan (US$35 million) of direct economic losses in agriculture, forestry, fishing and livestock husbandry, according to the report.

The storm flooded 54 large enterprises, causing losses of 36 million yuan (US$4.3 million), the report said.

Four hours of torrential rain hit the southeastern part of Zhejiang on Saturday. The torrent destroyed nearly 2,000 houses and damaged 8,326 others, as well as interrupting electric power, communication and traffic in some areas of the province.

..... Since Saturday, torrential rain has battered 16 cities and counties of the province. In some areas, the rain was measured at 184 millimetres a day.