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Typhoon Rammasun kills 8 in southern China, becoming region's biggest storm in 41 years

BEIJING — A typhoon believed to be the strongest storm to hit southern China in four decades has killed eight people after claiming scores of lives in the Philippines, China’s official news agency said Saturday.

Typhoon Rammasun was blamed for five deaths and 99 injuries after hitting Hainan island Friday off China’s southern coast, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Three people died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland on its way north to Vietnam.

Xinhua said the storm is believed to be the strongest to hit the region in 41 years. Wind speeds reached 130 miles per hour, with the storm knocking down power lines and damaging buildings, Xinhua said.

Authorities in southern China ordered the highest level of disaster alert and suspended hundreds of buses, trains and flights across the region.

The typhoon had wreaked havoc earlier in the week in the Philippines, leaving 77 people dead.

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