Typhoon Prapiroon has made landfall in southern China, bringing gale force winds and causing the evacuation of thousands of people.
Prapiroon hit coastal Guangdong province in the early evening local time, near the city of Yangjiang. Torrential rains are pounding the area and ferry service between Hainan Island and the mainland has been suspended. Tens of thousands of boats returned to port ahead of the storm. Numerous flights have been canceled.
Chinese state media say authorities have evacuated 65,000 people to safer ground in the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.
The typhoon is expected to lose strength now that it is moving over land. Currently it is headed northwest across western Guangdong, moving about 15 kilometers per hour.
Prapiroon is one of the strongest of six typhoons to hit southern China this season, a particularly active one. Bilis, a typhoon of similar size, killed more than 600 people last month from flooding and landslides.
Typhoon Prapiroon battered the northern Philippines late Monday and early Tuesday, leaving at least eight people dead or missing.Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.