Typhoon Chanthu lashes southern China with torrential rains, high winds, killing 2

BEIJING (AP) — Two people were killed as Typhoon Chanthu made landfall in southern China's Guangdong province, sending debris flying through the air and bringing rain that could aggravate the country's worst floods in a decade.

Winds, which reached 78 miles per hour (126 kilometers per hour) at the storm's center, knocked over a wall in Guangdong's Wuchuan city, killing two people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

By Friday morning, the storm had moved north to Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi region and been downgraded to a tropical storm, the China Meteorological Administration said in a statement on its website.

Chanthu comes as China grapples with severe flooding that has left more than 701 people dead and 347 missing so far this year, according to the flood prevention agency. The death toll is the highest since 1998, when more than 4,000 people died. Damages are in the tens of billions of dollars.

In Guangdong, floods have killed more than a dozen people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands, Xinhua has said. Landslides triggered by heavy rains crushed homes and floods have wiped out crops across the province since June.

State broadcaster CCTV's noon broadcast Thursday showed intense winds tossing around large pieces of debris and objects such as pipes and shingles in Maoming prefecture. Two people were killed in southern China last week by falling debris from Typhoon Conson.

More torrential rains are expected across China this week, in provinces ranging from Yunnan in the southwest to Jilin in the northeast.