Typhoon Kai-Tak causes havoc in China (Lead)

August 17th, 2012 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 17 (IANS) Thousands of passengers were stranded at airports in China Friday with transport services being suspended as Typhoon Kai-Tak battered southern regions of the country.

Kai-Tak, the 13th tropical storm of the year, whirled into the Huguang township in Guangdong province around 12.30 a.m. Friday, bringing downpours and gales, Xinhua reported.

Off the eastern Zhanjiang coast, the violent weather triggered waves as high as four metres.

In Zhanjiang city, trees and billboards could be seen scattered along the roads while most of the shops and restaurants remained closed.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at an airport in Beihai city in Guangxi Zhuang region, after 16 flights linking Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Changsha areas were cancelled.

Sources from the Maritime Search and Rescue Center of Qinzhou city said, six people were still trapped after their ship was marooned in Qinzhou Port, Thursday evening.

Helicopter, tugs and patrol boats were dispatched to the site for rescuing the trapped people, said the city authorities.

According to fishery departments of the coastal cities of Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang, as of 1 p.m., more than 10,000 fishing boats had been called back to harbours for shelter, and over 40,000 fishermen and seafood farmers have gone ashore to avoid heavy rains, gales and waves.

Elsewhere, the typhoon also led to delay and cancellation of 14 incoming flights and seven outgoing flights in Meilan International Airport, in Haikou, capital of the Hainan province.

Also, in Hainan, where the heavy rains lashed, 23 flights had been cancelled and 18 others delayed at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport in Sanya City at 10.30 a.m., leaving 3,000 passengers helpless.

Officials supervising flood control and drought relief efforts said relief materials and rescue personnel were fully prepared to mitigate the impact of Kai-Tak.

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