75,000 evacuated as Nock-Ten storm hits China (Lead)

July 29th, 2011 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 29 (IANS) Over 75,000 people were Friday evacuated from the southern regions of China as tropical storm Nock-Ten hit the coastal areas, officials said.

Nock-Ten hit the southern island province of Hainan Friday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

The tropical storm brought strong winds with speeds of up to 28 metres per second, or over 100 km an hour, along with heavy rains and reduced visibility, the meteorological centre said.

Yang Yunxian, director of the provincial flood control office, said people were evacuated from coastal fish farms, fishing boats, makeshift houses as well as from low-lying region.

Over 26,000 fishing boats have all returned to ports, he said.

Authorities were releasing water from major reservoirs as the water levels rose because of heavy rains.

Downpours brought by the tropical storm have halted all shipping services across the Qiongzhou Strait, which separates Guangdong province from Hainan island, as well as some rail services.

In addition, 173 flights due to depart or arrive at two airports in Hainan were cancelled.

At least 31 people died in the Philippines as a result of the storm.

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