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59 soldiers missing after typhoon in China

Raging floodwaters spawned by a typhoon along China’s coast swept away 59 soldiers and washed away two buildings at a military training school, state media reported Tuesday.
Chinese make their way in the flooded city centre of Fuzhou in Fujian province, eastern China
People make their way in the flooded city of Fuzhou, China on Monday after it was hit by Typhoon Longwang. Reuters / X80006
/ Source: The Associated Press

Raging floodwaters spawned by a typhoon along China’s coast swept away 59 soldiers and washed away two buildings at a military training school, state media reported Tuesday.

At least 15 people were killed after the typhoon slammed into China’s southeast coast late Sunday night, the provincial emergency operations said. At its height, the storm had winds of 74 mph, but it was downgraded Monday afternoon to a tropical storm.

The typhoon also killed at least one person on Taiwan.

The 59 soldiers, members of the China’s paramilitary armed police in charge of domestic security, were in a training school barracks in Fujian province when the violent floods hit Monday night, state media said. Two buildings at the school were washed away, the reports said.

President Hu Jintao ordered that no efforts be spared to search for them, state newspapers reported.

Chinese authorities evacuated more than 500,000 people from coastal areas ahead of the storm, forcing boats to return to harbor and closing tourist sites.

As the storm churned inland, it destroyed 5,400 homes in Fujian, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China has suffered numerous heavy storms this year. In September alone, three typhoons killed more than 130 people across the southern part of the country.