updated 9/12/2005 5:44:38 AM ET 2005-09-12T09:44:38

Typhoon Khanun killed at least 14 people when it plowed into China’s east coast, leveling thousands of homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, state media said Monday.

The storm on Sunday tore into coastal Taizhou, a city in Zhejiang province about 150 miles south of the commercial hub of Shanghai.

Fourteen people were killed and some 7,500 houses were destroyed by the strong winds and rain, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Eight people were missing, it said.

Total economic losses caused by the typhoon were estimated at $850 million, Xinhua said, citing provincial-level flood control officials.

Along the Zhejiang coast, 814,000 people were evacuated and more than 35,000 ships were returned to ports, Xinhua said.

With heavy rains expected over the next two days, provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters “urged the local people to prepare for possible mountain torrents and other geological disasters,” Xinhua said.

Khanun is the Thai word for jackfruit, a large tropical tree fruit.

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