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Typhoon Prapiroon Gathers Strength, Aims for Southern China

Southern China is bracing for a typhoon that caused havoc in the northern Philippines this week.

Typhoon Prapiroon is about 340 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong after being upgraded earlier Wednesday from a tropical storm.

It was centered about 340 kilometers south of Hong Kong at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday. Forecasters say it is moving northwest at 14 kilometers per hour toward the western part of China's Guangdong province and Hainan island. The storm could make landfall in southern China Thursday or early Friday.

Prapiroon, Thai for "rain god," has been gaining strength as it crosses the South China Sea. Its winds are churning at 118 kilometers per hour.

The storm battered the northern Philippines late Monday and early Tuesday, leaving at least eight people dead or missing.

Philippine officials say six people on Luzon island were killed by drowning, lightning strikes and falling trees. Two people reported missing were swept away by floodwaters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.