Typhoon Usagi collided with the southern China coast and Hong Kong Sunday. Since reaching land, the deadly storm’s pummeling has downed power lines, thrown cars off roads, and resulted in serious flooding. So far 25 people are confirmed dead in the typhoon’s wake.
Typhoon Usagi is the worst storm to come from the western Pacific yet this year. Sources at Al Jazeera say some meteorologists claim Usagi is the most powerful storm anywhere on Earth this year.
China’s National Meteorological Center labeled the storm with its highest alert rating on Sunday as the storm landed near Shanwei, Guangdong. Officials from the city say winds were measured reaching speeds of up to 109 mile per hour, a local record. Since then national warnings have lowered their alert level.
According to RT, national broadcaster CCTV has reported a total of 25 deaths. More than a dozen people lost their lives in Shanwei after Typhoon Usagi landed. This includes people who drowned or were hit by debris carried in the deadly winds.
Around 50,000 disaster relief personnel have been dispatched to affected areas. Over 80,000 people have been evacuated to safety in the Fujian province so far. The incredible storm has resulted in more than 370 flight cancellations. It also forced the closure of a number of shipping and trade routes, including one of the world’s busiest ports located in Hong Kong. 170,000 people are now without power in southeast China.
Concerns have also lead to the Daya Bay nuclear power station located northeast of Hong Kong to be placed under emergency conditions. Four of the station’s six reactors are now under reduced operational load, after Usagi landed in China.
Typhoon Usagi, “usagi” being Japanese for “rabbit,” was classified as a supertyphoon on Saturday as it made its way between Taiwan and the Philippines, injuring several and killing eight people before continuing to China.