China: Typhoon alert closes schools in southeast China

22nd Sep 2013

XIAMEN, Fujian,  (Xinhua): A powerful typhoon hit China’s southeastern coast on Sunday, leaving school classes suspended and disrupting air traffic.

Super Typhoon Usagi was monitored 404 km southeast of Hong Kong at 8 a.m. Sunday, packing winds of 48 meters per second at the storm’s eye. It is expected to strike south China’s Pearl River Delta sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Schools in Xiamen City on the eastern coast of Fujian Province and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, called off classes on Sunday morning. Fujian suspended shipping transport between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan as Usagi brought strong winds and downpours to its offshore region.

On Sunday, major Chinese airlines canceled flights to cities in southern China’s Guangdong and Fujian provinces as well as to Hong Kong and Macao due to the possibility that local airports would be battered by heavy rains and strong gales starting at noon on Sunday.

Although the typhoon was still hundreds of kilometers away, related storms have already taken out three major power lines, cutting off electricity supply to about 170,000 households in Fujian at 7 a.m.

Electricians from power companies are rushing to repair the damage. By noon, there were still 25,000 households suffering power outage.

The Fujian Provincial Flood Control Headquarters warned that sea storm tides would pose a threat to coastal embankments starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday as the typhoon coincides with astronomical tide.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying coastal areas in the province. The flood control headquarters has ordered reinforced patrols so that emergency repairs can be made to prevent embankment breaches.

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