20 Oct 2010

Super-typhoon heading for China coast

10:58 pm on 20 October 2010

A typhoon that killed at least 10 people in the Philippines has been strengthening over the warm waters of the South China Sea and is heading for the China coast, east of Hong Kong.

A full assessment of damage in the northern Philippines caused by Typhoon Megi has been hampered by poor access due to road closures and bad weather.

Megi had winds in excess of 250km/h when it hit Isabela province on Monday, and early reports said there had been widespread destruction of housing.

The Philippines has declared a state of calamity. The storm cut power and communications, forcing flight cancellations and putting province's rice crop at risk.

Initial estimates show more than 100,000 tonnes of the region's unmilled rice crop were damaged.

One badly hit area, the Cagayan Valley, accounts for about 12% of national production.

In 2006, a storm with winds of 155 km/h triggered mudslides, burying villages and killing about 1000 people, the BBC reports.

Last year, typhoon Ketsana killed at least 250 people and left large areas of the capital, Manila, underwater.