updated 7/16/2006 12:18:30 AM ET 2006-07-16T04:18:30

Tropical storm Bilis killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds as it churned across China’s southeast, the government’s main news agency reported Sunday.

At least nine people were missing after Bilis swept through the densely populated coast early Friday and moved inland, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing disaster officials.

Hardest-hit was the inland province of Hunan, where at least 36 people were confirmed dead and 100 missing by Saturday afternoon, Xinhua said. It did not say how they died. The report said 349 people were injured in Hunan and 40,000 stranded by high water.

Another six people were killed in the southeastern coastal province of Guangdong, the agency said.

A Russian vessel sank off the coast during the storm, but the 11-member crew were rescued, Xinhua said.

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