GUANGZHOU (Web Desk) – At least 11 people have been killed and four others are missing after an unexpectedly strong typhoon slammed into the southern coast of China, unleashing deadly tornadoes in the region, state media reports.
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Typhoon Mujigae gained power quickly before it made landfall in densely populated Guangdong province on Sunday, wielding winds as strong as 216 kph (134 mph).
“It had rapid intensification,” said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater. “Nobody expected this to get to Category 4 strength.”
On Monday, local authorities were gauging the scale of the destruction.
The tornadoes created by the storm smashed into houses and other infrastructure in two major cities, Guangzhou and Foshan, killing six people, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Twisters aren’t common in southern China, but “sometimes you’ll see tornadoes spawned by the landfall of tropical systems,” Sater said.
Two fishing boats sank as Mujigae churned up the sea along the Guangdong coast, drowning three people and leaving four others missing, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial civil affairs department.
Another person was killed by a collapsed structure, it said.
In nearby Guangxi region, one person was killed by a falling tree, according to the news agency.
Authorities said they had evacuated more than 200,000 people from vulnerable areas as the storm approached.