Image: Aftermath of Typhoon Saomai
Jiang Kehong  /  AP
Residents recover belongings among the ruins of their houses in Tuoxi, in southeast China's Fujian Province, on Monday.
updated 8/15/2006 11:09:18 PM ET 2006-08-16T03:09:18

China’s death toll from Typhoon Saomai rose to 319 after dozens more bodies were found in a hard-hit southern city, the official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.

Rescuers found another 24 bodies in Fuding, a city in coastal Fujian province, where Saomai killed the most number of people after it roared ashore last week, Xinhua said.

By Tuesday, 202 people were confirmed dead in Fuding, with another 94 missing, it said.

Neighboring Zhejiang province reported 87 deaths, while two people were killed in the inland province of Jiangxi, Xinhua said.

Saomai was China’s strongest typhoon in five years.

The storm sank more than 1,000 ships and wrecked more than 50,000 houses when it slammed into China’s southeast on Thursday with winds of up to 170 mph.

China has mobilized thousands of soldiers to help rebuild damaged roads, power lines and water supplies.

Most of those killed in Fuding died “when the super strong typhoon broke the moorings on their ships which had sought shelter in the harbor,” Xinhua said.

Fuding suffered at least $312 million in damage, mainly due to lost fishing boats and catches of fish, Xinhua said.

Parts of Fuding and five other cities in Fujian province suffered blackouts. More than 1.6 million people fled their homes in Fujian and the neighboring coastal province of Zhejiang.

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