Typhoon Meranti death toll rises to 28 in China

People search through an area with shelters for construction workers destroyed by Typhoon Meranti, in Xiamen, China on Sept 15, 2016.
People search through an area with shelters for construction workers destroyed by Typhoon Meranti, in Xiamen, China on Sept 15, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (AFP) - The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit China in nearly 70 years has reached 28, state news said Sunday (Sept 18), days after the storm crashed into the country's coastline.

Heavy rains and winds up to 170 kmh whipped eastern Fujian province late last week, flooding streets and knocking over trees, billboards and power lines.

The official Xinhua news agency described the storm as the world's strongest typhoon this year and the worst to hit the region since records began in 1949.

Fifteen remain missing, Xinhua said, adding that Xiamen city's transportation and power supply continued to be "spotty".

More than 10,000 workers were clearing up debris from the storm which uprooted more than 3,000 trees and destroyed roads and walls, it said.

Flooding also destroyed an 871-year-old bridge that was protected heritage site in Yongchun county, Xinhua reported Friday.

The typhoon, which had earlier skirted the southern tip of Taiwan, made landfall in Xiamen early Thursday.

At one point more than 3.2 million homes had their electricity cut off and water supplies for many communities in Xiamen were disrupted, it added.