BEIJING – Emergency workers found 50 bodies and were searching for dozens of people missing after Typhoon Longwang (search) slammed into southeastern China and unleashed raging floods, state media reported Tuesday.
Among the missing were 59 members of a paramilitary police brigade swept away in Fujian province (search) Sunday night after the typhoon came ashore with 74 mph winds, state media said.
The missing paramilitary officers, members of China's armed force in charge of domestic security, were in a training school barracks when they were washed away, state media said.
President Hu Jintao (search) ordered that no efforts be spared to search for them, state newspapers reported.
By late Tuesday, emergency workers had retrieved 50 bodies in Fujian, China Central Television reported.
The typhoon also killed at least one person on the island of Taiwan before hitting mainland China.
The typhoon, whose name means "Dragon King" in Chinese, was downgraded Monday to a tropical storm, but not before raining havoc on low-lying coastal areas. It was raining lightly in parts of Fujian on Tuesday, and top wind speeds had slowed to 45 mph, the local weather bureau said.
Authorities evacuated more than 500,000 people ahead of the storm, which also forced boats to return to harbor and closed tourist sites.
As the storm churned inland, it destroyed 5,400 homes in Fujian and wiped out 31,000 acres of crops, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
State TV showed trees bending under gusts of wind and cars driving slowly along flooded roads. It said some railway services had been suspended in hard-hit Fujian.
China has suffered several heavy storms this year. In September alone, typhoons Talim, Khanun and Damrey killed more than 130 people across the southern part of the country.