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Rumbia subsides but still brings gales and heavy rain

By Li Yang in Nanning | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-03 01:43

Rumbia, the sixth tropical storm to hit China this year, is moving northwest after landing in south China Tuesday morning, bringing gales and storms to regions along its path.

The storm landed in the coastal region of Beibu Gulf in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region at around 7 am on Tuesday morning, after passing by Hainan and Guangdong provinces.

Rumbia subsides but still brings gales and heavy rain

Strong tropical storm Rumbia lands in Zhanjiang, South China's Guangdong province, early Tuesday morning. It is expected to move northwest, bringing gales and storms along its path. [Photo by Liang Zhiwei/Xinhua]

Although Rumbia had subsided to a storm when it reached central Guangxi by noon Tuesday, it still wracked Yulin, Fangchenggang and Beihai cities with strong gales and torrential rains. The Guangxi meteorological observatory released a yellow typhoon alert at 5 pm on Tuesday, warning that strong gales may persist in the region for the next 24 hours.

According to the Guangxi civil affairs department, by 3 pm on Tuesday, 1,622 people had been evacuated, 2,160 hectares of farmland were seriously affected by the storm, 84 houses had collapsed and hundreds more were damaged in Bobai county, Yulin, the area hit hardest by the storm.

About 800 tourists were also stranded on Weizhou Island in the Beibu Gulf, when the storm cut sea transportation.

A total of 1,421 boats had returned to harbor to dodge the storm in the Beibu Gulf as of 6:30 pm on Monday.

The Nanning railway bureau said three passenger trains and five freight trains were suspended on Tuesday morning due to the storm.

Zhang Qiulan, a resident of Beihai, said, "Living here for half a century, I am used to the storms. Just keep away from the trees and stay at home. Anyway, Rumbia does not affect my life too much."

Mo Jinmei, a school teacher in Shangsi county of Fangchenggang, was more concerned. "My students living in the mountains cannot come to school today. I have not seen them for two days. I am a little worried about the safety of their dilapidated houses."

The National Meteorological Center of China forecast at 5 pm on Tuesday that Rumbia was moving northwest at 25 kilometers per hour and would affect Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces in one to two days, making the flooding in southwestern China even worse.

Six people were killed in a landslide that was triggered by heavy rain in Yunnan province on Tuesday.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said 79 people died in floods in June in China.

Wang Qian and Yang Huihong contributed to this story.


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