Over 50,000 evac­u­ated in typhoon’s path in China

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Typhoon Haima forced the evac­u­a­tions of more than 50,000 peo­ple in south­ern China after ham­mer­ing the north­ern Philip­pines with fe­ro­cious wind and rain, trig­ger­ing flood­ing, land­slides and power out­ages and killing at least 13 peo­ple. No deaths were im­me­di­ately re­ported yes­ter­day in China from the typhoon. Res­i­dents in the cities of Shan­wei and Shan­tou, in China’s Guang­dong prov­ince, were forced to move to safer ground as the storm hit, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and state me­dia re­ported. Some vil­lages ex­pe­ri­enced power out­ages and au­thor­i­ties re­mained on the look­out for pos­si­ble land­slides.

Chi­nese me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ser­vices said the typhoon made land­fall shortly after noon Fri­day in Shan­wei in Guang­dong prov­ince, pack­ing winds of up to 166 kilo­me­ters per hour be­fore weak­en­ing to a trop­i­cal storm. China sus­pended dozens of flights and rail ser­vices in sev­eral south­ern prov­inces. In the city of Shen­zhen, au­thor­i­ties or­dered schools, mar­kets and fac­to­ries to close, halted pub­lic trans­porta­tion and evac­u­ated some ar­eas.

Neigh­bor­ing Hong Kong sus­pended trad­ing on the stock mar­ket Fri­day and shut down schools, of­fices and com­muter fer­ries as Haima lashed the fi­nan­cial hub with rain and wind gusts of up to 109 kph (68 mph). The third most se­ri­ous storm sig­nal was hoisted, leav­ing an eerie calm in the streets of the nor­mally bustling city. More than 740 flights to and from the city’s in­ter­na­tional air­port were canceled or de­layed.

In the Philip­pines, Haima’s blind­ing winds and rain on Thurs­day had rekin­dled fears of the catas­tro­phe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which left 7,300 dead, but there has been no report of any ma­jor dam­age. Large ca­su­al­ties ap­peared to have been averted after more than 100,000 peo­ple fled to safer ground. Sev­eral vil­lages were cut off by fallen trees, land­slides and floods, im­ped­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions and aid.

At least 13 peo­ple were killed, mostly in land­slides and floods, in the fast-mov­ing storm, of­fi­cials said. But the evac­u­a­tions from high-risk com­mu­ni­ties helped pre­vent a larger num­ber of ca­su­al­ties and thou­sands were still in emer­gency shel­ters due to a pow­er­ful that hit the north a few days. The ex­tent of dam­age in Ca­gayan, about 500 kilo­me­ters north of Manila, where the typhoon made land­fall, was ev­i­dent in over­turned vans, top­pled or lean­ing elec­tric posts and de­bris block­ing roads. Most stores, their win­dow panes shat­tered and canopies shred­ded by the wind, were closed. —AP

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