300,000 evacuated as typhoon lands in south China

September 29th, 2011 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 29 (IANS) About 300,000 people were evacuated in south China in preparation for typhoon Nesat’s expected assault on the island province of Hainan Thursday.

Packing winds of 42 metres per second at its centre, it made landfall in Wengtian township in Wenchang at 2.30 p.m., bringing heavy winds and torrential rain to the city in eastern Hainan, Xinhua reported.

The city had evacuated 57,738 people from disaster-prone areas, including low-lying areas and fishing boats, by 2 p.m., said Fu Taosheng, an official with the city’s flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The province also recalled ships, suspended flight and ferry services and closed schools in preparation for Nesat, which is the 17th typhoon to hit China this year as well as the strongest.

Chen Cheng, vice governor of Hainan, ordered all fishing boats to return to harbor and fishermen to take shelter ashore.

The storm seriously disrupted local transportation services.

All flights were cancelled at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport Thursday, while 143 flights were canceled and 32 delayed in Haikou Meilan Airport.

At 9.15 p.m., the typhoon had landed in Xuwen county in Guangdong province, packing strong winds and unleashing downpours, according to the provincial weather station.

It was still moving northwest at 20 km per hour, on course to enter the Beibu Gulf, the station said.

The typhoon also brought storms to neighbouring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, forcing closure of over 3,000 schools.

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