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China typhoon death toll rises to 17 as more rain expected

The death toll from the strongest storm to hit China in decades has reached 17 as forecasters issued warnings of more extreme weather.

BEIJING: The death toll from the strongest storm to hit China in decades has reached 17, state media said Sunday, as forecasters issued warnings of more extreme weather.

Typhoon Rammasun has left eight people dead in the island province of Hainan and another nine in Guangxi, official news agency Xinhua reported.

At least two people are reported missing as the strongest typhoon to hit south China since 1973 headed north.

State media on Saturday evening said that eight people had been killed in the storm. Television pictures on Sunday showed waterlogged roads and heavy rain in the southwestern province of Yunnan. Online pictures showed uprooted trees, destroyed crops and deserted, rain-soaked streets across much of southern China.

The typhoon first made landfall in China on Friday afternoon as a super typhoon, packing winds exceeding 200 kilometres (124 miles) an hour. Weather authorities in China issued a "red" alert warning for Rammasun on Saturday -- the most severe of China's four colour-code warnings. The storm has since been downgraded.

All the airports on Hainan had re-opened on Sunday, as ferry, rail and bus services resumed.

Meanwhile, China's National Meteorological Centre was warning that downpours triggered by the typhoon were expected in northern parts of China in the coming days.

Rammasun -- meaning "Thunder God" in Thai -- has caused at least 94 deaths in the Philippines, where it hit before lashing China.

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