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Death toll in China from Prapiroon rises to 80
BEIJING, Aug 7 (AFP) Aug 07, 2006
The death toll in China from Tropical Storm Prapiroon has risen to 80, with nine others missing and more than 800,000 people forced from their homes, the government said Monday.

The death toll on Sunday from Prapiroon -- named after the Thai god of rain -- stood at 77 but three extra people were confirmed killed on Monday in Guangdong, the worst hit province in the far south of the country.

The death toll in Guangdong is now 54, with another 26 killed in neighboring Guangxi region to the west, China's ministry of civil affairs said on its website.

The storm has also forced the evacuation of 844,000 people and affected a total of 10.3 million people, the ministry said.

Economic losses across southern China from Prapiroon are estimated to have reached 7.2 billion yuan (900 million dollars), the ministry said.

Prapiroon struck the southern part of China, including Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainans, on Thursday last week.

It was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm just after it made landfall, but gales and torrential rain continued over the weekend and into Monday.

Prapiroon was southern China's sixth typhoon of the season, which started more than a month earlier than usual with Typhoon Chanchu in May.

The worst typhoon to hit China this season was Bilis, which struck on July 14 and hovered over southern China for 10 days, killing at least 612 people.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in southern China during the typhoon season, according to International Red Cross figures.

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