China’s capital, Beijing, has been battered by a major typhoon that has killed more than 70,000 people, uprooting more than 20 million people from their homes and damaged more than 11.5 million buildings.
The storm also left hundreds of thousands homeless and killed more on Friday, with authorities reporting that some 3,000 had died.
“I saw hundreds of people with their bodies washed ashore,” said one woman who gave her name only as Li.
“I thought I would never see them again.”
“There are no signs of life at all,” said another resident, who gave his name only by his surname, Yu.
“We are all waiting for rescue boats.”‘
We are waiting for the rescue boats’The typhoon came as China celebrated the Lunar New Year, when it has its annual Lunar New year celebration, but some residents were unable to return home for fear of losing their homes.
“We are in fear of the typhoon,” said Liu.
“This is the first time we have not been able to return to our homes.”
The Chinese government has set up a nationwide emergency centre, and the head of the central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, said China’s authorities would soon release details of the death toll from the storm.
The Chinese Meteorological Administration, meanwhile, said it was working to determine the number of deaths.
“This typhoon has caused widespread damage to buildings, and it has destroyed a number of roads and bridges,” the agency said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of the disaster, the families and those affected by this calamity.”
On Friday, China’s foreign ministry said it had received reports that a number the number was under investigation.
“The ministry is monitoring developments closely and will provide further information to the relevant authorities as soon as possible,” it said in an emailed statement.
China has been trying to cope with the unprecedented storm that has devastated the southern provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, with about 70,300 people dead and millions of people displaced.
“China’s emergency management is taking all the necessary measures to minimize the impact of this typhoon, and its impact will be severe,” Xinhua, the state news agency, said.
“At the same time, we must take all measures to ensure that the country’s disaster relief and relief work is not affected by weather conditions or the weather system itself.”
China has seen more than five million people evacuated from their properties in the past week, while the number in the affected provinces has risen to more than 13 million.
China’s official Xinhua news agency also said on Friday that at least one person had died after a landslide in a mountainous area of eastern Xinjiang province on Saturday.
“People are being evacuated to the highest mountains in the region,” Xinjiang Daily News quoted a source as saying.
“There is a risk that the landslide will cause damage to the ground.”
In the eastern province of Xinjiang, the landslides and floods killed four people and damaged six others on Saturday, local media reported.
In a separate incident, at least two people died and eight others were injured in a fire that erupted in the northeastern province of Liaoning, according to state media.
In recent days, China has been dealing with a series of earthquakes, with several on Thursday rattling the country, causing power outages and a lockdown for a third day.
In January, a magnitude 7.4 quake hit a remote village in the southwestern province of Sichuan, killing more than 300 people.
In December, a 5.1-magnitude quake hit the northeastern city of Chengdu, killing at least 15 people and damaging at least three others.
The government has been struggling to deal with the impact the storm has had on the economy, and with the death rate rising and a new government decree requiring more than a million residents to move out of their homes, the government has said it is struggling to cope.
In April, President Xi Jinping said the country needed to take a closer look at the safety of the country and its infrastructure.
China plans to spend about US$3.5 billion ($3.4 billion) to rebuild damaged infrastructure after the storm, Xinhua said.