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Typhoon Wutip lashed China's southern coast on Sunday (September 29), bringing high winds and rain, state media reported.
Waves crashed against the sea wall at Sansha city on Hainan Island as winds as high as 110 kilometres-per-hour ripped palm fronds from the trees, official broadcaster CCTV reported.
Local authorities helped fishermen to berth vessels, CCTV said. But not escaped the storm.
Seventy-four fishermen were still missing on Monday (September 30) after the typhoon sunk three fishing boats in the South China Sea.
The ships were hit on Sunday as they navigated gales near the Paracel Islands, about 330 kilometres from Hainan, state news agency Xinhua said, citing sources with the Hainan maritime search and rescue centre.
The boats were sailing from the southern province of Guangdong.
Rescuers had found 14 survivors, the sources said.
Rains from the storm were expected to reach Vietnam on Monday before hitting Thailand on Tuesday (October 1).