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Typhoon kills eight, bus crash kills at least 38, both in southern China

A woman rides her electric bicycle against the strong wind and heavy rainfall as Typhoon Rammasun hits Zhanjiang, Guangdong province July 18, 2014

A super typhoon has killed eight people in China since making landfall on Friday afternoon, state media said on Saturday, after hitting parts of the Philippines and leaving 77 dead.

Typhoon Rammasun reached the southern Chinese island province of Hainan on Friday, before striking parts of the mainland later on Friday and early on Saturday, said the official Xinhua news agency.

The government had ordered an all-out effort to prevent loss of life from the typhoon, which is shaping up to be the strongest to hit southern China in more than 40 years.

It is expected to bring heavy rain throughout the weekend before moving southwest and weakening on Monday. Heavy rain is also expected over part of northern Vietnam.

The typhoon has hit several cities in the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan, tearing down trees and power lines and knocking out power grids.

In the Philippines, Rammasun badly hit the coconut-growing southern portion of the main island of Luzon, including the central Bicol region, which remained without power four days after it struck.

The storm damaged an estimated 5.85 billion Philippine pesos ($134 million) worth of crops and infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength from the warm waters and dissipating over land.

Flooding across a large swathe of southern China in the past week has already killed at least 34 people.

38 killed in China highway collision
At least 38 people were killed in a collision between a bus and a van carrying flammable liquids in southern China, state media reported on Saturday, the latest in a string of accidents that have fuelled anger over unsafe transport.

The crash in Hunan province happened in the early hours of Saturday when the van drove into the back of the passenger coach, triggering a fire and explosion, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Five people were injured, including four with severe burns. Five vehicles were destroyed, Xinhua said.

Last week, 11 people were killed, including eight children, when a school bus crashed into a reservoir in Hunan.

A series of accidents in recent years involving vehicles carrying school children have made such incidents a sensitive issue, particularly in China’s rural areas where roads are often poorly maintained.

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