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Guangxi braces for strong winds, heavy rain

By Li Yang in Wuzhou, Guangxi | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-24 08:06

Typhoon Usagi weakened into a tropical storm before entering the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region from the west of Guangdong on Monday at noon after causing 25 deaths since making landfall in Guangdong on Sunday evening.

According to the National Meteorological Center, the weakening storm will bring heavy rains, a four-degree temperature drop and strong winds to the north of Guangxi, the south of Hunan and the east of Guizhou until Wednesday.

Usagi's speed is declining faster than first forecast. Slight to moderate rain accompanied by light winds swept through Wuzhou, Yulin, Hezhou, Laibin, Guigang, Nanning and Chongzuo in Guangxi, ending a sweltering day in the region with cool air.

Usagi is the first strong typhoon to directly hit the Pearl River Delta of China this year, with a maximum wind speed of 216 kilometers per hour. The heavy losses in Guangdong sent Guangxi into alert mode. Cities in Usagi's path were prepared for any possible outcomes.

The Wuzhou marine bureau suspended passage permits to ships going to Macao and Hong Kong through the Pearl River. The port city of Beihai on the Beibu Gulf also suspended shipping to Haikou on Hainan Island and Weizhou Island, local tourist resorts.

Precautionary information on disasters was sent to residents by various means. The regional education authority of Guangxi required all schools to closely follow information about the typhoon, but did not notify schools to suspend classes.

Lin Kaiping, a general engineer at the Guangxi meteorological observatory said, "The key tasks for Guangxi are to guard against strong winds and floods in the cities and to ensure the safety of fishing boats."

Although the rain in Guangxi was not as heavy as expected on Monday night, local governments still closely monitored conditions of mountainous areas prone to geological disasters.

No further loss of life or property damage had been reported by the Guangxi government by 10 pm Monday.

Huo Yan contributed to this story.

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