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Hard-hit China braces for Typhoon Rammasun

| Thursday, July 17, 2014, 5:48 p.m.

BEIJING — Heavy rain and landslides during the past week have killed at least 45 people in southern China and left 21 missing, the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs and an official said on Thursday.

Southern China is bracing for the arrival of Typhoon Rammasun around midday Friday, with wind gusts expected to surpass 90 mph. It is likely to hit with winds of at least 127 mph, making it equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The typhoon left at least 40 dead in the Philippines, where it damaged homes and knocked out power on Wednesday. Rain fell in Hong Kong, which issued a strong-wind advisory as the typhoon passed.

WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue said the storm has “rapidly intensified” and is now a “very dangerous” typhoon.

Flooding rain, mudslides and coastal storm surge also are possible with Rammasun, said AccuWeather meteorologist Eric Leister. It will affect northern Vietnam late Friday night into Saturday.

Hong Kong will remain far enough to the north that any impacts will be limited to higher surf and a few downpours and gusty wind.

In Sichuan province, a landslide caused dirt and stones to hit a truck and four cars on a highway on Thursday, killing 11 people and injuring 19, according to an official in the province's Maoxian county, who gave only her surname, Li.

Typhoons are the same type of storms as hurricanes. They form over the Pacific Ocean north of the equator, and west of the International Date Line.

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