CHINA / National

Regions braced for storm landfall
By Li Wenfang and Huang Yiming (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-03 06:39

GUANGZHOU: Guangdong Province, Hainan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China are braced for the arrival of typhoon Prapiroon, the sixth major storm brushing China this year.

Prapiroon was located at the northern part of South China Sea, 340 kilometres southeast of Yangjiang, Guangdong Province, as of 5 pm yesterday, according to the Central Meteorological Observatory.

Packing winds of 119 kilometres per hour, the storm was moving at 15 to 20 kilometres per hour and gathering force.

It is likely to land on the coastal area between Zhuhai and Xuwen in Guangdong from noon today to tomorrow morning.

Heavy rains were forecast in the east and north of Hainan, central and southern Guangdong and southeastern Guangxi.

Guangdong is still recovering from typhoons Kaemi and Bilis last month, which caused a heavy death toll and huge economic losses.

Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu urged yesterday that forecasting of the typhoon be enhanced to reduce the impact of disaster.

He asked the government at various levels to take preventive measures such as relocating people, calling back boats at sea, enhancing surveillance over reservoirs for potential floods and looking out for possible landslides.

State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters triggered Class 4 emergency reaction mechanisms.

By noon yesterday, 65,000 people had been evacuated and 53,200 boats pulled to shelter in Hainan, Guangdong and Guangxi.

The train from Guangzhou to Haikou was suspended yesterday for 24 hours, according to railway authorities in Guangzhou.

Prapiroon, the Thai word for rain god, comes in the wake of last week's typhoon Kaemi.

It has already lashed the northern Philippines, killing five people.

(China Daily 08/03/2006 page2)