SHANGHAI, China (AP) – Typhoon Damrey slammed into southern China’s resort island of Hainan on Monday, killing at least two 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 to toward Vietnam to the west. More than 200,000 people were being evacuated along the coast ahead of its expected arrival Tuesday, Xinhua said, citing Vietnamese officials.

Both victims were women who died in Wanning as they were preparing to flee, according to Xinhua.

Zhong Yueqin, 62, was trying to retrieve a TV set from inside her house when it collapsed on top of her, while Li Ruju, 42, was killed by a falling wall while closing up her house, it said.


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