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Typhoon bears down on eastern GD
Latest Updated by 2006-05-18 09:29:26
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Typhoon Chanchu made its way towards Shantou City in eastern Guangdong yesterday, causing the cancellation of some flights and ferry services in the province and Hong Kong as the region braced for the storm.

Chanchu spared Shenzhen, however, by veering away in a northeasterly direction yesterday, offering respite to organizers of the culture industry fair due to open today.

At least half a million people in Guangdong and Fujian provinces were evacuated with Chanchu expected to make landfall late yesterday or early today.

Chanchu was about 180 kilometers southwest of Shantou at 5 p.m. yesterday, moving at a speed of 20 to 25 kilometers per hour. Although it weakened as it approached Guangdong, the wind speed at its center was 144 kilometers per hour, or 13 on the wind scale.

The center of Chanchu was expected to slam the coastline between Huilai of Guangdong and Zhangpu of Fujian late last night or this morning, Xinhua News Agency said.

Even before its landing, the typhoon brought gale-force winds to coastal areas in Guangdong and Fujian, grounding flights and ferry services.

In Shenzhen, 43 flights, including 36 passenger flights, were canceled yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Bao'an International Airport said. Ferry services from Shekou to Hong Kong and Zhuhai were suspended, and classes at all schools and kindergartens in Shenzhen were suspended.

Wang Jingdong, a spokesman of the city's natural disasters office said about 8,000 people had been evacuated, adding no major damage from the typhoon had been reported as of 8 p.m. yesterday.

Authorities had issued landslide warnings at some high-risk places. Advertisement billboards in the city were either reinforced or removed.

Fujian and Hainan provinces also braced for damage with the latter ordering a halt to sea and rail transport across the Qiongzhou Strait between the island and Guangdong.

Many cities in Fujian reported landslides and flooding, according to the Fujian meteorological bureau.

In Hong Kong, several trees were felled by high winds. A handful of flights were canceled and others were postponed, while several ferry services were suspended.

Chanchu, which killed 41 people when it tore through the Philippines last weekend, is the strongest typhoon on record to enter the South China Sea in May.

Editor: Yan

By: Lin Min Source: Szdaily web edition
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