BEIJING, July 18 (Reuters) - A typhoon heading towards southern China has strengthened as it approaches the provinces of Hainan and Guangdong and is now a super typhoon, the government said on Friday, ordering that all efforts be made to prevent loss of life.
Typhoon Rammasun, which has already killed at least 38 people in the Philippines, is expected to make landfall between Hainan and Guangdong provinces on Friday afternoon, the National Meteorological Centre said on its website.
Packing winds of up to 180 kmph (112 mph), it will also bring heavy rains before moving into southwestern China, state news agency Xinhua added, saying the typhoon would be the strongest to hit the island of Hainan in 40 years.
The Hainan government said it had ordered fishermen back to port while many flights, and all train services, were cancelled.
Premier Li Keqiang, describing the situation as severe, said people's lives must be put first, the Hainan government added.
Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength from the warm waters and dissipating over land.
Flooding across a large swathe of southern China in the past week has already killed at least 34 people. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)