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BEIJING (Web Desk) – A tropical storm lashed Taiwan with typhoon-grade winds and rain has left 69 people dead and many others missing, reports said Thursday.

Super Typhoon Nepartak brought chaos to Taiwan last week, forcing more than 15,000 people to flee their homes as part of the island saw its strongest winds in over a century.

It had weakened to a tropical storm by the time it made landfall in the eastern province of Fujian on Saturday, but still wreaked havoc, with pictures showing cars upended, buildings ripped apart and towns left wallowing in a thick sludge of brown mud.

By Thursday more than half a million had been forced to evacuate and around 8,300 homes destroyed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Tropical storm kills six in China, eight missing

Later in the day Xinhua said 69 people in Fujian had been killed, up from an earlier toll of 21, with six missing.