Super typhoon Rammasun slammed into China’s southern provinces with deadly force, sending millions fleeing their homes and damaging power and water facilities, after battering the Philippines where the death toll rose to 94.
Seventeen people have been killed since the typhoon, the strongest to hit southern China in four decades, made landfall July 18, Xinhua News Agency reported today. Almost 5.6 million people in coastal Guangdong and Hainan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were affected, Xinhua said, citing local civil affairs authorities.
The storm hit Hainan with winds gusting to 216 kilometers (134 miles) an hour, Xinhua said, citing the National Meteorological Center. Relief efforts are being hampered by damage to power and telecommunications networks, ports and roads, and water supplies, Xinhua reported.
Economic losses from Rammasun exceed 10.8 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), the report cited provincial civilian authorities as saying.
Weather authorities downgraded Rammasun to a tropical depression this morning, and warned that areas such as Yunnan, Guizhou and western Guangxi could face heavy rain and experience landslides. The storm is forecast to move inland, hitting mountainous southern China and northern Vietnam with downpours that threaten landslides and flooding.
Missing in Philippines
Six people remain missing in the Philippines and more than half a million are still in evacuation centers after Rammasun swept across the island nation last week.
The cyclone displaced about 1.6 million people and caused an estimated 7.3 billion pesos ($168 million) of damage as it struck the Philippines, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The storm damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and more than 300 people were injured, according to the council.
A new tropical cyclone, designated Matmo, has developed sustained winds of 70 knots (130 kilometers per hour), gusting to 85 knots, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U.S. Navy.
Centered about 500 nautical miles (930 kilometers) east-southeast of Manila and tracking northwest at 7 knots, Matmo will probably brush by the northern Philippines tomorrow night before crossing over Taiwan and heading toward mainland China, the center’s latest forecast shows.
— With assistance by Liza Lin