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Typhoon Usagi hits southern China, swipes Hong Kong

Beijing, Sep 23 (): Powerful typhoon Usagi swept through southern Guangdong province of China on Sunday, killing at least 25 people and leading to the cancellation of hundreds of flights, before being downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday morning, officials said.

Weather experts say this typhoon is the strongest storm this year, and the National Meteorological Centre in China issued the highest weather warning possible.

The powerful typhoon hit southern China, leaving 21 dead, local authorities said Monday. The victims included people hit by debris and others who had drowned. One man was killed by a falling window pane. Strong winds have toppled trees, cranes and blowing cars off roads in some areas.

Late Sunday, the Hong Kong Observatory said the typhoon landed near the city of Shanwei in the Chinese province of Guangdong, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Hong Kong, and was moving west-northwest at 22 kph (14 mph).

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and shipping and train lines were shut down before the typhoon weakened to a tropical depression over the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Monday.

More than 80,000 people moved to safety places in the Fujian province and government officials have deployed at least 50,000 disaster-relief workers, the state Xinhua news agency reported.

In Hong Kong, more than 250 outgoing and incoming flights were cancelled, and an additional 200 were delayed, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said. Intercity trains including the high-speed rail to Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong were suspended until Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Trains from Beijing to Guangzhou have been suspended and hundreds of flights from Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have been cancelled. Power supplies in many parts of the province and in Guangdong have been cut off.

China’s National Meteorological Center has announced that the typhoon would continue to weaken as it moves northwest and bring heavy rains later Monday and overnight for five southern provinces.

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