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Thousands evacuated as typhoon hits southern China

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By Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — A typhoon that left a trail of destruction and deaths in the Philippines hit southern China late Friday evening as emergency workers prepared for torrential rains and lashing winds, flights and ferries were canceled and tens of thousands of residents were evacuated.

Typhoon Conson had weakened to a tropical storm after blowing out of the Philippines, where 39 people were dead and the number of missing climbed to 84. But it restrengthened to a typhoon with winds of up to 78 miles per hour (126 kilometers per hour) and hit the city of Sanya on Hainan island at 7:50 p.m. local time Friday, China's National Meteorological Center said.

The center's website provided no other details.

Heavy rain fell on Hainan as the typhoon approached and conditions were dark and windy, said a receptionist who answered the phone at the Mandarin Oriental in the city of Sanya.

"If the wind starts to pick up, it may uproot some of the smaller trees. We are recommending to guests that they stay indoors," said the woman, who would not give her name.

Authorities dispatched relief workers in preparation for the storm and ordered thousands of boats to dock. More than 150 passengers were stranded at a port after ferry services were suspended, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Twenty-eight flights were also canceled.


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