On Wednesday, Xinhua news agency said that much of southern China has been battered by a series of typhoons and tropical storms this year that have now killed about 1,300 people.

Saomai, graded a "super typhoon" with winds exceeding 216km per hour, barrelled into Cangnan county in the eastern province of Zhejiang on Thursday, flattening tens of thousands of houses, capsizing ships and damaging roads, bridges and buildings.

A total of 202 people were confirmed dead in Fuding city in the southeastern province of Fujian alone, Xinhua said.

Most of them were sailors and fishermen who had tried to ride out the storm on their boats moored off the coastal town of Shacheng, bordering Cangnan to the north, Xinhua said. The news service added that 175 bodies had been recovered from the sea by Tuesday.

Crushed
  
The figure is still likely to mount, as another 94 people remain missing in the city," the report said.
  
The overall death toll for Fujian stood at 230, it said.
  
In Zhejiang, 87 people were killed, most of them crushed by houses that had collapsed, and 52 were missing, Xinhua said.
 
Further inland, Saomai also killed two people and left one missing in Jiangxi province.
  
According to Chinese media, Saomai was stronger than a typhoon that killed about 5,000 people in Zhejiang in August 1956.