BEIJING – Tropical Storm Pabuk moved toward China's southern coast Thursday after triggering landslides that killed 11 people in the Philippines and disrupting power supplies in southern Taiwan.
Pabuk was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression that lashed China's coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian with heavy rain late Wednesday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. No injuries or damage were immediately reported.
Pabuk then gained force and was again categorized as a tropical storm as it headed southwest at 12 mph early Thursday, Xinhua quoted Lu Shan, chief forecaster of the Guangzhou observatory, as saying. It was expected to hit southern China's Guangdong province late Thursday.
A stronger tropical storm, Wutip, has developed over the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines and was forecast to hit southeast Fujian province on Friday afternoon, Xinhua said.
Pabuk bolstered monsoon rains across the Philippines, causing a landslide that buried seven houses and killed at least 10 people Monday in the southern gold mining town of Maco in Compostela Valley province. Another landslide Wednesday killed a 9-year-old boy in the northern mountain resort city of Baguio.
Heavy rains flooded many Manila streets, forcing schools to close and leaving commuters stranded, officials said.
Pabuk then swirled across the southern tip of Taiwan, bringing heavy rains but causing no major damage or casualties, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. Power supplies were disrupted to 3,000 households in the southern county of Pingtung, the Central News Agency said.
Chinese authorities urged fishing vessels and other seacraft off the coast of Fujian province to head for port Wednesday ahead of Wutip, Xinhua reported.
The province's flood control headquarters said they had mobilized troops and police to increase patrols and stack sandbags around ponds and reservoirs, Xinhua said.
Two typhoons killed about 1,000 people in China last year.
In Vietnam, meanwhile, the death toll from floods triggered by a tropical storm rose to at least 54 people in central Vietnam, officials said Thursday. Nine others were missing and feared dead, while more than 100,000 have been displaced.
Ha Tinh was the worst-hit province, with 18 deaths, including eight children. One person was reported missing, said Dao Con Bach, a provincial disaster official.
"Communication with some parts of the province is still cut off," Bach said. "The death toll could rise."
Twelve people in Quang Binh province drowned, including a rescue worker, said Nguyen Ngoc Dien, a provincial official.
Although downpours had decreased, more casualties were expected as authorities began to reach affected areas, Dien said.
Some 100,000 people had been forced to leave their flooded homes, he said adding that rescue workers and military officers were rushing food to people.