BEIJING – Flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Kaemi have killed at least 25 people in southern China, including six who died when a torrent of water washed away a military barracks, state media said Thursday. At least 53 people were missing.
Most of the dead and missing were in Jiangxi province, where Kaemi made landfall Tuesday as a typhoon, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It dissipated Wednesday but continued to shower the area.
Six people died when a flash-flood rushed down a mountainside in Jiangxi and inundated military barracks Wednesday, the agency said. Thirty-eight people were missing.
Seventeen other people were killed in Jiangxi in landslides and floods. A landslide also killed two people in the neighboring province of Guangdong, Xinhua said.
In Fujian province, workers in Zhao'an county labored around the clock to fill a breach in a 650-foot-long levee that had threatened to flood six villages with at least 20,000 residents.
The levee collapse destroyed 400 homes, but no injuries were reported, Shen said.
"The leak is basically under control," said an official from the Zhao'an county government who gave only his surname, Huang. "More than 300 people worked for hours to fill the breach with sandbags, tree stumps and clay."
An official from the county flood prevention office, who gave only his surname, Shen, said some 40,000 villagers had been evacuated as a precaution.
State television showed footage of workers removing chunks of concrete and rock and clearing mud off roads in Jiangxi, Guangdong and Hunan provinces.
Kaemi is the seventh typhoon to hit during China's summer rainy season. Each year, hundreds of people die as floods and mudslides rush down mountains and overwhelm villages, and dams are smashed by rising torrents.
Kaemi hit just as the region was recovering from the last typhoon, Bilis, which caused landslides and rising waters that killed more than 600 people.
Kaemi (pronounced GEH-mee), the Korean word for ant, dumped rain earlier on the Philippines and Taiwan, knocking out power lines and swelling rivers.