EXTREME WEATHER

Parts of China’s Guangdong province still without power and water five days after deadly Typhoon Mujigae

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 October, 2015, 7:50pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 October, 2015, 7:50pm

Parts of western Guangdong were still struggling to restore power and water supplies yesterday, five days after the strongest typhoon in six decades swept through the region.

At least 20 people died and hundreds were injured Typhoon Mujigae made landfall on the mainland near Zhanjiang on Sunday afternoon.

Watch: Typhoon Mujigae lashes southern China

Key infrastructure in the city’s steel industry was destroyed and thousands of people had to be moved to safety.

Electricity and water supplies were gradually restored to residents in the city from Wednesday night but parts of the Guangdong’s remote west, including Donghai Island and some communities on the Leizhou Peninsula were still without the essential services yesterday.

Watch: a video of a tornado hitting Guangdong province 

Zhanjiang resident Angela Huang, 30, said she had not had a shower since Mujigae stuck on Sunday.

“We are used to typhoons but never used to take it seriously but this time it’s really catastrophic. After the typhoon, we walked downstairs and saw cars crushed and flipped over, and shops destroyed.

“It’s like Godzilla has attacked the city. The streets are like primeval forests covered by toppled trees.

“We lit candles at night but there is no water. I haven’t had a shower for five days.”

Phone lines in parts of the city, including at a five-star hotel, were still being restored yesterday.

“I have not heard from my friends in Leizhou or Donghai. They haven’t been able to get online yet,” Huang said.

Seven people were killed in typhoon-triggered tornadoes in Guangdong province, and seven more died in landslides.

Three fishermen died at sea, and four others were still missing. Meanwhile, one person was found dead after a house collapsed during the storm.

Two people were killed in the neighbouring province of Guangxi , where more than 400 homes were destroyed.

The storm hit Guangdong on Sunday, triggering widespread blackouts, state media said. Winds knocked out power grids along the coast and authorities cancelled dozens of flights and suspended high-speed train services.

The province suffered 23.24 billion yuan (HK$28 billion) in losses from the storm, which affected 3.5 million people and damaged 282,700 hectares of farmland.

Mujigae also wreaked havoc in Guangxi, affecting more than 1.72 million people.

Donghai Island resident Ye Haiguang said wreckage littered much of the island but government rescue workers were nowhere to be seen five days after the typhoon.

“Roofs were ripped off homes. Most Baosteel facilities have collapsed or been destroyed. Billboards, electricity poles and everything outside was wiped out. Nothing is left,” Ye said.

“Even the elderly people in our village said they had never seen such a strong typhoon.”

He said some residents were still without water and power while others had bought generators and were relying on old wells for water. The price of candles and generators had at least doubled.