Typhoon Rammasun is storming across the South China Sea towards the coastal provinces of southern China. The typhoon wreaked havoc across the Philippines over Tuesday and Wednesday and is picking up strength as it continues westward towards China. Now classified as a super typhoon, Rammasun is already responsible for the deaths of over fifty people. The government is doing all it can to minimize the loss of life in the provinces of Hainan and Guangdong. According to the National Meteorological Center, the typhoon is expected to land between the two provinces on Friday.
Rammasun is expected to bombard southern China with 112 mph winds and torrential rainfall before continuing into southwestern China. China’s state news agency, Xinhua, is saying that this will be the biggest typhoon to hit the island of Hainan in forty years. The Hainan government said it has ordered fishermen back to port while many flights, and all train services, were cancelled. State television said access to all scenic spots on the island, which styles itself as China’s answer to Hawaii, had been closed, and 30,000 people evacuated from low-lying coastal areas.
Premier Li Keqiang, describing the situation as severe, said people’s lives must be put first, the Hainan government added. “Prevent any accidents that may be caused (by the typhoon) and reduce disaster losses as much as possible,” it cited Li as saying. Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength from the warm waters and dissipating over land. Rammasun, however, is a monster. Only two other super typhoons have ever hit China, Saomai in 2006 and Marge in 1973. Saomai, registered as a once-a-century typhoon, was the most powerful typhoon ever to have made landfall over mainland China. This storm, says CNN’s Ivan Cabrera, could top both of these. Read more about the story here.