- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2014

The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in more than 40 years has killed at least 18 people since making landfall on Friday afternoon, after hitting parts of the Philippines where the death toll has risen to 94.

Typhoon Rammasun killed nine people and left five missing after hitting the southern Chinese island province of Hainan on Friday. Nine others died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland Friday and early Saturday on its way north to Vietnam, the Associated Press reported.

The typhoon is the strongest to hit southern China in 41 years, with winds reaching speeds of 130 miles per hour, with the storm knocking down power lines and damaging buildings, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rammasun has affected more than 1.3 million people in China, and caused economic damage worth more than $797 million, Reuters reported.

The typhoon had wreaked havoc earlier in the week in the northern Philippines, leaving 94 people dead. The damage there is an estimated $134 million worth of crops and infrastructure, Reuters said.

Typhoons are common at this time of year in the warm waters of South China Sea.