Typhoon Usagi kills 3 in China

Updated: 2013-09-23 07:13


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Typhoon Usagi kills 3 in China

A man runs away from big waves at a dock in Shantou, Guangdong province on Sept 22, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUANGZHOU - At least three people have been killed as typhoon Usagi, the strongest of the year, made landfall in south China's Guangdong Province on Sunday evening, local authorities said.

The super typhoon, packing winds up to 162 km per hour at the center, came ashore at 7:40 p.m. in east Guangdong's Shanwei City, according to the provincial meteorological station.

Before the storm came ashore, a tree was felled by strong winds in Shantou City, killing two people and injuring another, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

The other death was reported in Jinghai Township of Huilai County in the city of Jieyang, where a villager was killed by fallen window glass while avoiding wind at home, said Li Feng, a border police officer of the city.

Electricity and water supply was cut off in the county, and houses were toppled as wind speeds at the center exceeded 180 km per hour on Sunday afternoon, Li said. Border police have been mobilized to help with disaster relief there.

Li said a woman was missing after the fishing boat she and her husband were on was capsized. The husband was found alive, but hopes for his wife, who cannot swim, were slim.

Intercity trains between Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai were suspended at 6 p.m. and nearly 50 trains, including those along the high-speed lines to Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, will be suspended until Tuesday, according to the Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corporation.

At a Xiecheng gas station on National Road 324 near Shanwei City, winds were strong enough to blow cars off the road and all traffic was stopped.

Resident Li Huolong said he was on his way home in Shanwei, when the back window of his car was broken by the wind.

Luo Hailing, an attendant who has worked at the station for years, said, "it is the strongest typhoon I have ever encountered. So terrible. Luckily, we made preparations."

She said the station received a circular to prepare for the typhoon on Thursday, and they had covered all the machinery with tarpaulins before the typhoon hit.

Cities including Shanwei, Zhuhai, Shantou, Huizhou and Jieyang have initiated the highest emergency response for wind protection, said He Guoqing, executive deputy director of the provincial flood, drought and wind control office.

More than 47,000 fishing boats are in harbor, with nearly 20,000 fishermen kept onshore, He said.

Educational authorities in 14 cities ordered schools to suspend classes on Sunday, a school day in China because of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival which just ended.

All beaches in the province have been closed.

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