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Typhoon regains strength as it targets south China

A typhoon that killed at least 10 people in the Philippines regains its strength over the South China Sea on Wednesday and heads for the China coast east of Hong Kong.
A resident takes a picture of a damaged rooftop at a gasoline station after Typhoon Megi hit Isabela province
A resident takes a picture of a damaged rooftop at a gasoline station Tuesday after Typhoon Megi hit Isabela province.Romeo Ranoco / REUTERS
/ Source: Reuters

A typhoon that killed at least 10 people in the Philippines was regaining its strength from the warm waters of the South China Sea on Wednesday and heading for the China coast east of Hong Kong.

A full assessment of damage in the northern Philippines caused by Typhoon Megi has been hampered by poor access due to road closures and bad weather. Megi was a "super typhoon" with winds in excess of 155 mph when it hit Isabela province on Monday, and early reports said there had been widespread destruction of housing.

"There could be a lot of people in need of emergency assistance in these areas, so we need to get there today and assess how the government can help them," Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said in a radio interview.

The disaster management agency said partial estimates from the agriculture department showed about 105,000 tons of unmilled rice crops, or palay, had been damaged.

About 33,000 tons of corn were lost. The agriculture department said crop losses were valued at up to $34 million.

The typhoon lost strength over land but was picking up energy from the sea as it moved slowly off the west coast of Luzon, the Philippines main island. Weather officials said it had winds of nearly 110 mph at its center. Tropical Storm Risk's projections show the storm was heading more northwards than previously expected, and was projected to hit the Chinese coast between Hong Kong and Zhangzhou later in the week.