More than 620,000 people were evacuated from the coastal regions of Guangdong
and Fujian provinces Wednesday as the strongest typhoon on record to enter
the South China Sea in May bore down on the south coast.
The stormy weather played havoc with transport, causing flight and shipping
cancellations and delays. There was no report of casualties.
Residents of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, are
not deterred by the huge waves Wednesday, May 17, 2006.(Xinhua)
Typhoon Chanchu (meaning pearl in Chinese), packing winds
up to 170 kilometres per hour (kph), continued to to move northward along the
coastal areas of east China's Fujian Province after it landed in Shantou City of
neighboring Guangdong Province at 2:15 a.m. Thursday, local meteorological
Affected by Chanchu, Xiamen, Zhangzhou and other coastal cities in southern
Fujian were hit by rainstorms Wednesday, with rainfall ranging from 50 mm to 555
mm, according to the latest statistics from the Fujian provincial flood
It was forecast to make landfall between Huilai of Guangdong and Zhangpu of
Fujian early this morning, according to the Fujian Provincial Meteorological
Bureau, which said the heavy rainfall was posing a flood threat.
At 8 pm yesterday, Chanchu was 120 kilometres south of Shantou where many
streets were flooded said Huang Zhong, chief weatherman of the Guangdong
In Fujian, more than 307,000 people were evacuated from the coast and 42,000
ships ordered to seek shelter in harbour.
In Guangdong, about 320,000 residents were moved to safety and 58,000 ships
returned to harbour.
Transport links in the region were badly affected yesterday.
By 4 pm, 10 flights from Guanzhou were cancelled and 16 delayed, leaving more
than 1,000 passengers stranded. Most flights to and from Shantou in eastern
Guangdong were cancelled.
In Xiamen, a port city of Fujian, 26 flights were cancelled, most of them
heading to other coastal cities. Passenger ferry services to Jinmen were also
China Eastern Airlines cancelled 38 flights from Shanghai to Hong Kong and
Shenzhen, a coastal city in Guangdong.
Hong Kong suspended air, sea and land travel. The airport said that 52
incoming and outgoing flights were cancelled and eight delayed.
The typhoon killed 37 people and left more than 1,000 homeless as it swept
across the Philippines last weekend.
The Ministry of Communications has said that at least 50 rescue ships and
five airplanes are on call for emergencies.