‘Thunder god’ typhoon batters Southeast Asia

BY Andrew Troast  July 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM EST

A vendor sells meat by candle light in Manila on July 17, 2014. Millions of people in the Philippines endured a second sweltering day without power on July 17 after a ferocious typhoon paralysed the capital and wrecked flimsy rural homes.    Photo by  Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

A vendor sells meat by candle light in Manila on July 17, 2014. Millions of people in the Philippines endured a second sweltering day without power on July 17 after a ferocious typhoon paralysed the capital and wrecked flimsy rural homes. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Typhoon Rammasun, which killed 54 people as it passed across the Philippines Wednesday, gained strength on Friday in the South China Sea and headed for China.

Named after the Thai word for “Thunder God,” Rammasun made landfall on the Chinese island of Hainan Friday, killing at least one person. 130 mph winds and steady rain tore through the northern region of Hainan Friday as Rammasun continued towards the coast of mainland China and Vietnam. China has already endured rains and landslides that have taken more than 45 lives in the past week.

Rammasun was upgraded to a Super Typhoon early Friday, prompting the Chinese government to issue a red alert and send crews to prepare several cities for the storm. 20-foot waves and high winds slammed portions of the Guangdong Guangxi provinces while the typhoon made a second landfall and headed towards Vietnam Friday evening.

According to Chinese officials, more than 200,000 people were evacuated as Rammasun moved inland.