Hainan rocked as typhoon causes chaos

Hainan rocked as typhoon causes chaos

Flights, buses and rail services were cancelled and schools closed as a typhoon with wind gusts of up to 144 km/h made landfall in Hainan province on Tuesday.

Typhoon Kalmaegi, the fifteenth to hit China this year, made landfall in Wengtian, a township in Wenchang, at 9:40 am.

As of 5 pm, 119 fights had been cancelled at Haikou Meilan International Airport in the provincial capital. No flights were allowed to land or take off at the airport.

As of 3 pm, 110 flights had also been cancelled at Sanya Phoenix International Airport.

All bus services in Haikou were cancelled on Tuesday morning. Rail services in the province, including the only high-speed bullet train, were also suspended.

As of 2 pm, 352,867 people had been evacuated in the province, according to the local authority. Some areas of Haikou and Wenchang and the counties of Lingao and Chengmai were inundated by seawater.

Ferry services from Hainan to the mainland, about 30 km away, were also suspended due to high waves.

The alert level for waves was upgraded to "red", the most severe, by the state marine forecast station.

The China Meteorological Administration issued an "orange" alert, the second-most severe warning under the national four-tier weather warning system.

Schools and kindergartens in Haikou have been suspended from Monday afternoon to Wednesday, while universities and businesses were closed on Tuesday.

Typhoon Kalmaegi also halted the electricity supply in many residential communities on Tuesday. As of 3:30 pm, 221 communities were still without power, the local government said.

Haikou resident Lin Jinzhu, who owns a 10-square-meter clothing store, said she had never experienced two typhoons causing severe damage in the same year.

"I've been selling clothes here for 20 years but have never felt so afraid of the weather," Lin said. "Typhoon Rammasun flooded all the clothing stores in July, so this time we have been well prepared and put the clothes on higher shelves."

Super Typhoon Rammasun, which made landfall on July 18, killed at least 56 people and left 20 missing in Hainan and Guangdong provinces.

The China Meteorological Administration said that from 2 pm on Tuesday to 2 pm on Wednesday, Hainan, southern Guangdong, southern and eastern Yunnan and southern and western areas of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region would see 250 to 300 millimeters of rain.

Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall in the northern Philippines on Sunday night, causing flooding in some areas. Six people were killed on Saturday night when a passenger ferry sank as the storm approached.

In Hong Kong, Kalmaegi caused 29 injuries, flight delays and closed the stock market and container ports.

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