China typhoon leaves 700 dead

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The Independent Online
PEKING (Reuter) - Typhoon Fred killed 700 people in China's eastern Zhejiang province and caused damage estimated at 10bn yuan ( pounds 750m), officials said.

The typhoon pounded the coastal region over the weekend, destroying thousands of houses and destroying embankments. A spokesman for the provincial foreign- affairs office said that at least 700 people had died but there was as yet no final tally of deaths and property destruction. 'There is no way of calculating how many people are still missing,' the spokesman said.

Storms and floods earlier this year killed more than 1,400 people in Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, causing more than dollars 6bn in losses to homes, industry and to agriculture, according to official estimates. But more than

27 million people in seven Chinese provinces are suffering from drought, with two regions battling the worst spell of dry weather for

60 years.