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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Floodwater sweeps away fire truck in China as Tropical Storm Haikui hits southeast coast

Beijing — High waters swept a fire truck into a river in southeast China early Tuesday, leaving five crew members missing, local authorities said, as the second tropical storm in recent days hit the mainland. What had been Typhoon Haikui weakened to a tropical storm as it scraped along the coastline of Fujian and Guangdong provinces Tuesday morning, bringing up to two feet of rainfall to some areas as it moved inland, according to China’s meteorological agency.

The fire truck swept into a river in Fujian’s Yongtai county had been carrying nine crew members. Rescuers were “doing all they can” to find the five still unaccounted for, according to the county emergency response headquarters, as cited by online news site The Paper.

Water transportation and work along the coastline were suspended ahead of Haikui, which crossed the southern tip of Taiwan on Sunday as a typhoon without causing major damage.

The Reuters news agency said more than 114,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas along the Chinese coast as the storm approached.

In recent months, China has had some of its heaviest rains and deadliest flooding in years. Dozens of people have been killed, including in outlying mountainous parts of the capital, Beijing.

Haikui followed Typhoon Saola’s landfall early Saturday along the Guangdong coast. The typhoon had sideswiped Hong Kong last week, causing some flooding.

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