Community works to restore order in Lufeng

Updated: 2013-09-24 08:05

(China Daily)

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Community works to restore order in Lufeng

The wreckage of a house in Lufeng, Guangdong province, after Typhoon Usagi slammed into southern China on Monday. The year's most powerful typhoon forced hundreds of flight cancellations, shut down shipping and train lines, and killed at least 25 people. Zou Zhongpin / China Daily

Reporter's log | Zheng Caixiong

Expressways were strewn with fallen trees, billboards and electricity poles.

In between these stood rescue vehicles and trucks bearing the logos of various utility companies.

Engineers could be seen along the roadsides busily trying to restore power and water supplies as well as communication links.

This was the scene in Lufeng on Monday, hours after Typhoon Usagi swept through the county.

Lufeng authorities said five people had so far been confirmed dead, with another 46 injured.

The high winds had left obvious scars. Yet thanks to the efforts of many workers, traffic into the area was largely restored to normal on Monday, allowing the relief work to continue unhampered.

"The gale was the strongest I've seen," said Chen Zhanzhen, who lives in Pubian, a village in Lufeng. "You could hardly stand up in it."

The 56-year-old retired soldier said many villagers sought cover in the primary school, which is on higher ground.

Despite the drama, people kept calm, he said.

"We maintained social order. There was no chaos," Chen said. "We help each other when a disaster hits. That's how we overcome difficulties."

Lufeng is about a four-hour drive from Guangdong's provincial capital, Guangzhou, on the Guangzhou-Huizhou and Shenzhen-Shantou expressways.

According to the city government, 120,000 people living in low-lying areas had to be evacuated ahead of the typhoon.

More than 3,600 villagers were stranded by flooding, with about 4,500 homes destroyed and another 20,000 damaged, while about 120 kilometers of coastal dikes were destroyed, causing a direct economic loss of 2.75 billion yuan ($449 million), the authority said.

Zheng Jia, Party chief of Lufeng, urged government departments and residents to salvage what they can to restart production and rebuild homes.