Passengers stranded as tropical storm hits Hainan

Updated: 2013-06-23 06:07


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SANYA, Hainan - Tropical storm Bebinca has disrupted 147 flights and left more than 8,000 passengers stranded in the airport after it hit coastal regions in south China at noon.

As of 10 pm Saturday, 110 inbound and outbound flights were canceled and 37 others delayed, affecting 8,200 passengers, said a source with the Phoenix International Airport of Sanya, a city in southern Hainan province.

About 6,400 passengers were arranged to stay in local hotels, said the source.

Bebinca, the first tropical storm of the year, made landfall in Tanmen Township of Qionghai City in Hainan at 11:10 a.m., said the local meteorological department.

The tropical storm has brought strong rain to Hainan, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the South China Sea, with precipitation in Tanmen expected to reach 30 to 60 cm.

An emergency response system is in effect and rescue ships have been deployed to ensure safety in nearby waters.

Train and shipping services across the Qiongzhou Strait have been suspended due to the arrival of the storm.

Passenger ferries have been ordered to dock at a port in Hainan, according to the maritime affairs bureau of Zhanjiang, a coastal city in south China's Guangdong province that is linked to Hainan by the strait.