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Tropical Storm Fengshen Leaves 9 Dead in S China

Torrential rain from tropical storm Fengshen has killed nine in south China's Guangdong Province, according to the local authority on Friday.

In addition, the strong rain had affected about 340,000 people, destroyed more than 1,200 houses and inundated more than 640,000 hectares of crops, a provincial flood control headquarters spokesman said.

It had also damaged roads, power lines, reservoirs and embankments. The total direct economic loss was estimated at about 1.2 billion yuan (US$175 million), the spokesman said.

Fengshen, which means "God of Wind," had brought about downpours and made rivers swollen in most parts of Guangdong after landing at the province's Shenzhen City early Wednesday.

The provincial flood control headquarters have warned against rain-triggered geological disasters and dispatched disaster relief teams to hard-hit areas, the spokesman said.

Fengshen moved northward into neighboring Jiangxi Province on Thursday noon and was downgraded to a tropical low pressure storm. Prior to its landfall, landslides triggered by a heavy downpour killed a villager in Jiangxi Province's Yongfeng County.

Meteorologists forecast Fengshen would affect Jiangxi for 36 hours, bringing more heavy rain in the central and southern areas of the province. It was continuing to move northeastward.

Fengshen was downgraded from typhoon level. Hundreds were dead or missing in the Philippines after the typhoon hit the country last week.

(Xinhua News Agency June 28, 2008)

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