Mother, Daughter Swept To Sea As Onlookers Watch In Horror

A mother and daughter were swept out to sea Thursday as onlookers watched in horror, and their tragic deaths are just two of several fatalities that were the result of a devastating typhoon. There are conflicting reports as to how many were killed as a result of typhoon Soudelor, but an updated report from the Sydney Morning Herald says the death toll has risen to six.

Although Soudelor has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, the typhoon pounded Taiwan on Saturday, leaving at least six people dead, four missing, and dozens injured. CNN reports that its powerful winds knocked down thousands of trees, and more than 1.4 million homes in Fujian province were left without power.

The typhoon greatly affected the city of Putian in Fujian province. According to forecasts, it was expected to move to other parts of the region, which forced the evacuation of about 158,000 people and the return of the ships to port before the arrival of the typhoon.

The Weather Channel reports that at one point during the storm, over four million Taipower customers were rendered powerless, a record number of outages previously held by Typhoon Herb, which left 2.79 million powerless in 1996. Many residents described the storm as the most powerful typhoon they’ve ever seen in their lives.

More than 7,000 soldiers and police were on call for possible incidents, provincial officials said. Fuzhou, the capital of the province, was hit by heavy rains and strong winds, and all flights to the city were canceled. The neighboring province of Jiangxi also issued a typhoon warning.

As mentioned above, an 8-year-old girl and her mother died when they were swept out to sea from a beach on the east coast, the state news agency said. The girl’s twin sister is still missing. Among the victims were also two firefighters. One died and another was injured after being hit by a drunk driver while he was trying to move a fallen tree, the Star reported.

Although Soudelor has weakened as it moves toward China, nearly 185,000 people have been moved to safer areas in Fujian province, which is expected to take a direct hit from the storm. In mainland China, a total of 250,000 people were evacuated from the coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang, where the typhoon was expected to touch land on Saturday night.

[Image via ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images News]