Guangdong battered as typhoon makes landfall
Updated: 2013-08-15 01:54
By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou and WANG QIAN in Beijing (China Daily)
Typhoon Utor, one of the strongest to hit Guangdong for 60 years, made landfall in Xitou, a town in the southwest of the province on Wednesday afternoon, whipping up gales, torrential rain and huge waves.
Utor had wind speeds at its center of up to 42 meters a second, or 151.2 km per hour, as it made landfall, the Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Observatory said.
A Hong Kong-registered cargo ship sank near the Wanshan Islands in the Pearl River estuary on Wednesday morning amid force 10 winds and force 12 gusts.
All 21 crew members were rescued by three aircraft from the Hong Kong Government Flying Service and a vessel from the Nanhai Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport, according to the Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Center, which coordinated the operation.
By 3 pm on Wednesday, 10 flights due to leave Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport had been delayed, with all flights to and from Zhanjiang cancelled.
By 2 pm, 240 stranded fishermen had been rescued by border guards and fishery administration workers at Dalong Bay in Zhanjiang, but some fisherman were still at sea, Zhanjiang Daily reported.
From 8 am to 7 pm, heavy rain was reported in the Maoming, Yangjiang and Jiangmen areas, but as of 8 pm no major natural disasters or casualties had been reported.
In Yangjiang, Guangdong, all government agencies, enterprises and schools were given a half-day off for safety reasons.
A motorcyclist hit by a tree blown down in heavy winds in Yangjiang at noon fell from his machine and fainted. He later recovered with the help of store workers, Yangjiang Daily reported.
Some roads in Shapa, a town in Yangjiang, were blocked by fallen trees, while some roads were flooded.
"The wind speed is expected to reach 45 meters a second, which will bring gales and rainstorms to Guangdong and Guangxi until Saturday," said Gao Shuanzhu, typhoon forecaster at the National Meteorological Center.
He said the typhoon may trigger landslides and floods, and local authorities should be on high alert.
The National Meteorological Center and the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center issued a red alert for the typhoon, warning that waves of up to 11 meters may be triggered in the South China Sea.