Province braces for tropical storm Francisco

Updated: 2007-09-24 17:39

HAIKOU -- Shipping services across the Qiongzhou strait in South China were suspended as Francisco, the 14th tropical storm to hit China this year, approaches the island province of Hannan, confirmed local sources on Monday.

A total of 20,157 fishing boats have returned to harbors for shelter by Monday morning, while 86 others were on the way back.

Three trains heading for Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were scheduled to leave Sanya of Hainan on ferries on Monday afternoon. It is yet to know whether they would be affected as well.

Francisco, which was formed on Saturday night on the South China Sea and intensified into tropical storm on Sunday morning, was located at 19.7 degrees north and 111.6 degrees east at 8:00 am Monday. Whirling at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour westward, it is expected to land in Wenchang of east Hainan or Xuwen in west Guangdong later on Monday.

The tropical storm is forecast to unleash gales and torrential rains in the two provinces. Local governments were warned to get prepared for emergencies.

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