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Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 20:56

Typhoon's high winds, rain hit Hainan

By Ma Zhiping and Liu Xiaoli in Haikou, Hainan Province
Typhoon's high winds, rain hit Hainan
Branches are broken in typhoon-hit Qionghai City, south China's Hainan p rovince, Oct 18, 2016. ( Meng Zhongde / For China Daily)

Typhoon Sarika made landfall in Wanning in southeastern Hainan province on Tuesday morning, bringing heavy rain and gales to southeastern coastal areas of China that also included Guangdong and Fujian provinces, the China Meteorological Administration said.

The administration issued a red alert - the highest of the four-tier warning system - for Sarika, which brought winds of up to 162 km per hour on Tuesday morning.

The typhoon , the 21st of the year, lashed the island province on its way to Beibu Gulf and was expected to make landfall again in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region or Vietnam.

Gales and downpours, with rainfall of up to 200 millimeters in some areas, halted traffic to and from the island. More than 520 flights were canceled at the island's two large airports - Meilan International Airport in Haikou, the provincial capital, and Sanya Phoenix International Airport.

Operations resumed at Meilan airport at 7 pm on Tuesday; officials at Sanya were to decide later on Tuesday whether to reopen.

Marine, rail and highway transportation were all closed since Monday as the storm approached.

All of the island's scenic spots were closed on Monday. Classes at primary and middle schools in Sanya, Wanning and Haikou were suspended for three days beginning on Monday.

More than 25,000 fishing boats were called back to port, and more than 510,000 people had been relocated by noon on Tuesday, according to Chen Wu, deputy director of the Hainan Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Provincial and local authorities had stored sufficient supplies of food, vegetables and propane for residents' daily life, Chen added.

Despite the gales and rain, most shops in Haikou remained open on Tuesday.

Zhao Yong, who sells vegetables in a downtown market, said it was business as usual. "It is not a very big thing for one who lives on the island," he said, adding that vegetable prices rose by 10 percent on Tuesday.

Li Leidong, a hotel manager in Haikou, said, "Some tourists who have come to Hainan for the first time want to go outside to feel what a typhoon is like." He added that he convinced customers to avoid risking their lives.

Typhoon's high winds, rain hit Hainan
A vehicle runs on flooded road in typhoon-hit Qionghai City, south China's Hainan p rovince, Oct 18, 2016. ( Meng Zhongde/Xinhua)
Typhoon's high winds, rain hit Hainan
Municipal staff clean up a tree blown down in the storm caused by typhoon Sarika in Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County, south China's Hainan p rovince, Oct 18, 2016. ( Yang Guanyu/Xinhua )

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