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Flights Cancelled As Typhoon Hits Southern China

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Flights were cancelled as a powerful typhoon hit Hong Kong and the southern China coast on Monday, killing at least 20 people on the mainland, crippling power lines and causing flooding and gale force winds.

Typhoon Usagi, the strongest storm to hit the Western Pacific this year, began pounding Hong Kong late on Sunday. More than 370 flights were cancelled.

The No. 8 signal warning remained in force early on Monday, with financial markets closed for at least part of the morning. The weather observatory said the storm had weakened from "super" typhoon status.

China's National Meteorological Center issued its highest alert, with more than 80,000 people moved to safety in Fujian province and authorities deploying at least 50,000 disaster-relief workers, state Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 20 people were killed on China's southern coast, television reports said, including 13 in Shanwei on the eastern fringes of Guangdong province.

Airlines cancelled flights to cities in southern Guangdong and Fujian, state media said.

(Reuters)