China landslides: At least 8 dead in Zhejiang province, 19 remain missing

4,000 rescue workers with 180 diggers are still looking for survivors but work is being hindered by persistent rain and poor road conditions.

China landslides kill at least 8, still 19 people missing
Rescue workers search at the site of a landslide caused by heavy rains brought by Typhoon Megi, in Sucun Village, Lishui, Zhejiang province, China Reuters

At least eight people were killed and nearly 19 people are still missing after two eastern Chinese villages experienced devastating landslides, local authorities told the official Xinhua news agency on Saturday.

Typhoon Megi triggered the landslides with heavy wind and torrential rainfall on Wednesday. The typhoon caused severe damage burying dozens of homes from the villages of Sucun and Baofeng in Zhejiang province's Suichang county.

Xinhua reported more than 4,000 rescue workers with 180 diggers were scrambling to find survivors but the rescue work is being hindered by persistent rain and poor road conditions.

Several video footages of the landslides have been posted on social media that showed torrents of water and rock pouring down a mountain towards houses in the valley below while terrified onlookers screamed.

According to the reports on Wednesday morning, Typhoon Megi had already claimed one life when a flash flood tore through a villager's home in the coastal province of Fujian.

The rescue teams pulled out at least 15 people alive from rubbles after the typhoon triggered a landslide at a village in the eastern Zhejiang province of China.

The People's Daily reported on Saturday that at least 2.09 million people from three provinces have been affected by the typhoon and approximately 1,200 houses were damaged.

Megi is estimated to have caused China 5.53 billion yuan ($835 million) in damages.

However, earlier this week, typhoon Megi caused widespread damage in Taiwan, leading to a complete shutdown of schools and offices for the second day. The roads were blocked by landslides and homes were flooded due to Megi. Seven people died as the typhoon raked across the island.

National Fire Agency Director-General Chen Wen-lung said the authorities had raised the alert levels for Taiwan, which is prone to landslides and flooding.

Authorities said the storm caused an estimated NT$1.31 billion (S$57 million) in agricultural damage and left more than four million households without power.