At least 44 dead after Typhoon Lekima hits China twice

Aug. 12 (UPI) — Nearly four dozen people have died from Typhoon Lekima in China, officials said Monday, after the storm made a second landfall in Qingdao City.

China’s National Meteorological Center downgraded Lekima to a tropical storm Monday as it reached the city. Officials said at least 44 people have died as a result of the storm, and several are missing.

Officials said the storm damaged more than 427 acres of crops and destroyed 34,000 homes.

Forecasters said Lekima initially landed on shore with winds up to 116 mph, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. It was the third strongest to ever hit China’s Zhejiang province.

“Lekima is like a horse with an extremely fierce temper,” meteorologist Luo Yuezhen said. “It rakes in so much water as it forms off the ocean. Sustained downpours pushed a lot of rivers to very dangerous levels.”

In Zhejiang province, nearly 5 million people were affected by the storm and more than a million people were evacuated over the weekend. In Shanghai, 250,000 were evacuated.

The Chinese military aided in rescues in Taizhou and Zhejiang, helping residents who had no electricity or any way to communicate.

Chinese authorities stopped high-speed train service to and from Shanghai and canceled commercial flights.

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