Typhoon Usagi kills two
Updated: 2013-09-23 00:17
By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (China Daily)
At least two people were killed and another one injured when Typhoon Usagi battered the coastal cities of Guangdong province on Sunday night.
The victims were killed and injured when a large tree was blown down by strong gales in the coastal city of Shantou, local authorities said.
Super Typhoon Usagi produces strong winds off the coast of Shantou, Guangdong province, on Sunday. One of the strongest storms of the year, the typhoon had winds of 187 km/h at the storm’s eye, according to the Guangdong meteorological observatory.[Yang Lixuan / for China Daily]
Usagi, the 19th typhoon to hit the Chinese coast this year, made landfall in Shanwei, Guangdong province, at 7:40 pm, bringing heavy rain and high winds and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents in low-lying areas.
Usagi is expected to be the strongest tropical cyclone in Guangdong so far this year, wreaking havoc in the southern province, said the provincial meteorological observatory.
Winds near the eye of the storm were measured at 187 kilometers an hour.
Schools suspended classes in the major Pearl River Delta cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, Huizhou and Dongguan, and air and rail traffic was disrupted, according to the observatory.
Xiamen, Fujian province, suspended ferry service linking the mainland to Taiwan’s Jinmen, local authorities said.
Fujian has evacuated more than 80,000 people and deployed some 50,000 disaster-relief personnel, authorities said.
Major airlines, including China Southern, have canceled flights to cities in Guangdong and Fujian provinces as well as the neighboring Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions because of heavy rain and strong winds expected at airports in the next two days.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has issued a yellow alert over the approaching typhoon and stepped up support measures to ensure safety and cope with emergencies on Sunday.
Guangzhou Railway Group issued a statement on Sunday suspending the sale of high-speed railway tickets on Sunday and Monday at Guangzhou Railway Station, one of the three busiest stations on the Chinese mainland.
Deng Haiguang, deputy governor of Guangdong, said the provincial government has activated the second-highest alert for disaster response.
“Local governments have sent text messages to coastal residents, urging them to be well prepared for flooding from Usagi,” Deng said in Guangzhou on Sunday.
By Sunday evening, more than 47,600 fishing vessels from Guangdong had returned to typhoon shelters, Deng said.
Chen Yong’an, a fisherman from Huizhou, said the wind and waves were too strong to continue fishing at sea. “There might be an accident at sea if fishing continued during such a violent storm,” he said.
Chen put his fishing boat in a local shelter on Sunday afternoon.
Most cities in Guangdong’s coastal areas had heavy rainfall on Sunday.
Guangzhou and other major Pearl River Delta cities will be lashed by heavy downpours for the next two to three days, the provincial meteorological observation said.