Houston Community News >> Relief Efforts Underway in China after Typhoon Saomai

8/12/2006 Beijing, China -- More than 20,000 soldiers and paramilitary police were mobilized for relief efforts after Saomai, the strongest storm to strike the country since at least 1949, blacked out cities and wrecked more than 50,000 homes.


Saomai weakened to a tropical depression on Friday but was expected over the weekend to drench a swath of China's south stretching from the coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian to the poor inland provinces of Jiangxi and Anhui.

Hardest-hit was Zhejiang, where the typhoon made landfall on Thursday, and the bulk of the deaths occurred in the city of Wenzhou, where at least 81 people were killed and 11 were missing, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said Wenzhou suffered $560 million in damage, including more than 18,000 flattened houses. A landslide set off by heavy rains in Lishui, another city in Zhejiang, killed six people, Xinhua said.

(Contributed by AP)