Typhoon Rammasun hits southern China, leaves eight dead

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Municipal workers clear tree branches off the road in Wenchang, south China's island of Hainan Province, July 18, 2014. Photo credit: Xinhua Municipal workers clear tree branches off the road in Wenchang, south China's island of Hainan Province, July 18, 2014. Photo credit: Xinhua

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Super typhoon Rammasun slammed into China’s southern provinces of Hainan and Guangdong, forcing evacuations and shutting down transport, after battering the Philippines and leaving dozens dead.
Five people have been killed in Hainan and three in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region since the typhoon made landfall yesterday, Xinhua News Agency reported today. Some 70,000 residents near the storm’s landfall in China were evacuated and the island province of Hainan shut all airports, ports, trains and bus stations, with canceled flights affecting more than 6,900 passengers, Xinhua earlier reported, citing provincial authorities.
China is bracing for the storm, which left at least 77 dead and millions without electricity in the Philippines earlier this week. Rammasun, which swept across Hainan with winds gusting to 216 kilometers (134 miles) an hour yesterday, is the strongest storm to hit southern China in four decades, Xinhua said, citing the National Meteorological Center .
The center maintained its typhoon alert at red, the highest of four levels, as of 6 a.m., forecasting heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours in most of Hainan and parts of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces.
One man who died in southern China was struck by debris when his house collapsed, Xinhua reported, citing local government authorities. Haikou, a city in Hainan, halted the bulk of its water supply after the storm hit, the Hainan Daily reported on its microblog, citing the local water company.
Rammasun displaced about 1.6 million people and caused an estimated 5.9 billion pesos ($135 million) of damage as it struck the Philippines earlier in the week, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. At least five people remain missing in the wake of the storm, which damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes.
The typhoon is forecast to move inland, hitting mountainous southern China and northern Vietnam with downpours that threaten landslides and flooding, authorities in both nations warned on government websites.

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