China Typhoon Damrey slammed into southern China's resort island of Hainan on Monday, killing at least nine people, collapsing houses and sweeping away rice, rubber and banana crops.
Packing winds of up to 125 mph, Damrey made landfall north of Hainan's Wanning City before dawn, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It was the island's strongest typhoon since 1973, the agency said.
The storm, whose name means "elephant" in Cambodian, scoured the island's southern portion before heading out to sea toward Vietnam to the west. More than 200,000 people were being evacuated along the coast ahead of its expected arrival today, Xinhua said, citing Vietnamese officials.
Nine people in five cities were confirmed dead, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial anti-disaster command center.
The typhoon also knocked out power to most of Hainan's 8 million people, Xinhua said. It could take up to a month for all power grids to be fully restored, it said.
Rice fields were flooded, and fruit and rubber trees were damaged or destroyed.