• Reuters

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The first typhoon of the year to hit China was expected to make landfall on or near the southern island of Hainan on Monday, which should help ease a severe drought on the tourist center and rubber producer, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Typhoon Kujira will sweep over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea before hitting land somewhere between Wanning on Hainan and Zhanjiang in the neighboring province of Guangdong, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall, Xinhua said late Sunday.

It is expected to weakened gradually after reaching land, the report added.

But it should help ease Hainan’s worst drought in more than half a century, Xinhua said. The drought has affected about one-third of the island, a place China likes to style as its answer to Hawaii or Phuket.