Four dead as southern China battered by Typhoon Mujigae: report

Trees are blown by Typhoon Mujigae on a street in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province on Sunday.
Trees are blown by Typhoon Mujigae on a street in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province on Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (AFP) - Four people were killed Sunday as Typhoon Mujigae ploughed into southern China with forecasters warning it was packing winds of up to 180 km/h, state news agency Xinhua reported.

One fisherman died and 16 were missing after the typhoon slammed into the coastal city of Zhanjiang, Guangdong, on Sunday afternoon. Some 117 fishermen were rescued according to local maritime authorities, the agency said.

Three more people died when a tornado struck Foshan, near the provincial capital Guangdong, Xinhua reported, citing the local government.

State broadcaster CCTV tweeted pictures of damaged buildings and cars after the typhoon hit with gales and torrential rain as Xinhua warned that storms would last in the densely populated Pearl River Delta until Monday.

The typhoon is forecast to move northwest at about 20 km/h hour and arrive in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region late Sunday, according to Xinhua.

More than 24,000 workers in Guangdong were put on standby to deal with any power cuts caused by the typhoon, Xinhua said, citing the China Southern Power Grid.

More than 500 tourists were stranded on Fangji island, Xinhua added, citing local officials.

The authorities had begun to evacuate tourists from the island on Saturday before being forced to halt the operation by the strong winds. The remaining tourists were put up for free at local hotels.

The typhoon comes as millions of Chinese take holidays to celebrate the October 1 National Day. Many tourists head to the country's sub-tropical southern coast.