BEIJING - A storm heading towards southern China strengthened into a super typhoon on Friday, prompting an all-out effort to prevent loss of life after it killed at least 54 people in the Philippines. Typhoon Rammasun, which was packing winds of up to 112 mph, was expected to make landfall between the two Chinese provinces of Hainan and Guangdong on Friday afternoon, the National Meteorological Centre said on its website.
Waves could reach up to 43-feet high in northern parts of the South China Sea and residents were warned away from coastal areas, state news agency Xinhua reported. State television said access to all scenic spots on Hainan island, which styles itself as China's answer to Hawaii, had been closed, and 30,000 people evacuated from low-lying coastal areas. Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength from the warm waters and dissipating over land. Flooding across a large swathe of southern China in the past week has already killed at least 34 people.
First published July 18 2014, 4:16 AM