Powerful typhoon hits southern Chinese island

AP News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2014 5:06 AM
Powerful typhoon hits southern Chinese island

BEIJING (AP) — A powerful typhoon hit the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Friday after killing at least 54 people in the Philippines.

No major damage was immediately reported on the island southwest of Hong Kong after Typhoon Rammasun made landfall at about 3:30 p.m. (0730 GMT), the local news website Hainan Net said on its microblog.

Ahead of landfall, the typhoon's winds were gusting up to 216 kph (130 mph), according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It said Rammasun was the most powerful storm in at least nine years and possibly since 1973.

More than 26,000 people on Hainan were evacuated and authorities required resorts and tour bus companies to suspend operations through Saturday afternoon. Xinhua said authorities had ordered the highest level of disaster alert for the region.

Hainan Net said ferries to the mainland and train service on the eastern part of the island were suspended. Xinhua reported that 36 trains in the Guangxi region west of Guangdong had been stopped.

The storm brought high winds and rain to Hong Kong and was due to plow through northern Vietnam after passing Hainan.

Rammasun barreled through the northern Philippines on Wednesday, drenching the capital, Manila, and knocking out power to whole provinces. The Philippine government raised the death toll Friday to 54. Three more people were missing and 100 injured.