Beijing: The death toll from super typhoon Rammasun, the strongest storm to hit southern China in over four decades, reached 18 on Sunday, officials said.
Typhoon Rammasun killed nine people and left five missing after hitting Hainan island off China's southern coast on Friday, the civil affairs ministry said in a statement. Nine others died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland on its way towards Vietnam.
More than 3.3 million people were affected by Rammasun, which swept dozens of southern coastal cities in Guangdong and Hainan provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Power and water facilities, telecommunications networks, ports and roads were severely affected by the typhoon, making the rescue operations more difficult, local authorities reported.
In Hainan, the typhoon destroyed about 51,000 houses and 40,600 hectares of crops, causing economic losses worth over 4.7 billion yuan, the provincial civil affairs authorities added.
Authorities in southern China ordered the highest level of alert and suspended hundreds of buses, trains and flights across the region.
The typhoon had wreaked havoc earlier in the week in the northern Philippines, leaving 94 people dead.