A typhoon was pounding southeast China today, leaving more than a million homes without power after lashing Taiwan, where it downed trees, traffic lights, and power lines, and left six people dead and four missing. Among the dead from Typhoon Soudelor are an 8-year-old girl and her mother who were swept out to sea from a beach on the east coast, reports Taiwan's official Central News Agency. The girl's twin sister remains missing. Other casualties included a firefighter who was killed and another injured after being hit by a drunken driver as they attempted to move a fallen tree in the island's south.
The center of the storm made landfall in eastern Taiwan before daybreak today. By mid-morning, Soudelor was packing maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, said Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. Authorities in southeast China evacuated about 163,000 people and ordered around 32,000 ships back to port ahead of the typhoon, Xinhua reported. More than 7,000 soldiers and police were on standby, provincial authorities said. Marine police rescued 55 university students and teachers trapped on a small island where they had been attending a summer camp, after strong gales stopped ferry services. (Read more typhoon stories.)