Nine people killed as Typhoon Khanun hits China

Typhoon Khanun killed at least 14 people when it plowed into China's east coast, leveling thousands of homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, state media said Monday.

The storm tore Sunday afternoon into coastal Taizhou, a city in Zhejiang province about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the commercial hub of Shanghai, unleashing torrential rains and high winds.

Fourteen people were killed and some 7,468 houses were destroyed by the strong winds and rain, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, without giving details. Eight people were missing, it said.

Total economic losses caused by the typhoon were estimated at 6.89 billion yuan (US$849 million; Ђ683 million), Xinhua said, citing provincial-level flood control officials.

Along the Zhejiang coast, 814,267 people were evacuated and more than 35,000 ships were returned to ports, Xinhua said.

In Shanghai, rain and wind flooded streets, blew down trees and caused minor damage to some homes. An incoming China Eastern flight from Melbourne, Australia, had to be diverted to the southern city of Guangzhou Sunday night, while dozens of flights were canceled or delayed on Monday morning. Schools around the city canceled classes, reports the AP.

By 11 a.m. (0300 GMT) Monday, Khanun had weakened into a tropical storm and was heading north at about 20 kilometers (12 miles) per hour across the province of Jiangsu, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

With heavy rains expected over the next two days, provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters "urged the local people to prepare for possible mountain torrents and other geological disasters," Xinhua said.

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