News World China braces for typhoon

China braces for typhoon

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The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in more than 40 years has made its second landfall, after leaving a trail of destruction and at least 64 dead in the neighbouring Philippines.

Super Typhoon Rammasun hit the city of Zhanjiang in south China’s Guangdong province on Friday night, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

It first made landfall on Friday afternoon on Hainan island, packing winds of up to 216km/h, China’s National Meteorological Centre (NMC) said.

The typhoon was expected to bring torrential rains and was the strongest storm to strike the country’s southern regions since 1973, the NMC said.

It claimed its first victim in China soon after coming ashore in Wenchang, Xinhua reported, when a man was killed by debris as his house collapsed.

State-run China Central Television in news bulletins showed images of wind-whipped trees in Hainan and high waves churned up by the typhoon.

“Strong Typhoon Rammasun is too frightening,” wrote one poster on Chinese social media, adding it “came ashore with fierce winds”.

“It’s raining so hard, the wipers won’t help and it’s hard to see the road ahead,” wrote another user riding in a taxi.

“The road is full of water and tree branches, and the heavy wind has blown some branches onto the power cables.”

A public security official in Wengtian, the city on Hainan where the storm first made landfall, told Xinhua that authorities anticipate a rise in fatalities as dozens of residents had already reported injuries before the power was cut off.

Late on Thursday, the NMC had issued its highest “red alert” for the storm, the first such declaration this year, according to Xinhua.

More than 210,000 residents in Hainan had been evacuated by Friday afternoon, Xinhua said, citing provincial disaster authorities.

Earlier, Rammasun – a Thai word for “Thunder God” – hit the Philippines, slamming the capital Manila and killing at least 64 people, with 103 others injured and five still missing, according to the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.