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August 5, 2020

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Coastal region battered by tropical storm

HEAVY rains and high winds were hitting China’s eastern coastal region because of a tropical storm.

Hagupit was a typhoon with winds blowing up to 136 kilometers per hour at its center when it made landfall in Zhejiang Province early yesterday. At noon, the tropical storm had winds of up to 108kph and was moving north at around 25kph, China’s National Meteorological Center said.

It brought torrential rains to Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, with gales forecast in areas in the western and southern parts of the East China Sea, the waters near Diaoyu Island, the Yangtze River Estuary, Hangzhou Bay, as well as the coastal areas of Zhejiang and northeastern Fujian.

The National Meteorological Center upgraded its typhoon alert at 6pm on Monday from yellow to orange, the second highest of a four-tier color-coded warning system, and renewed the alert at 6am yesterday.

The center also renewed a blue alert for rainstorms in several provinces and regions, where incessant downpours have already wreaked havoc.

Heavy rainfall and rainstorms were expected in parts of Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Yunnan and coastal regions of south China till today afternoon. The center advised local authorities to remain alert for possible flooding, landslides and mudslides, and recommended halting outdoor operations in hazardous areas.

No major destruction or injuries have been reported. Broadcaster CCTV showed trees toppled in the Zhejiang city of Yuhuan and the fire service said a panel truck had been blown on its side by high winds yesterday and its driver rescued.

By evening yesterday, the storm center was located near the city of Shaoxing, about 160 kilometers south of Shanghai, according to the meteorological center’s website.

It is expected to enter the western Yellow Sea via northern Jiangsu today before moving toward the western coast of the Korean Peninsula.

Forecaster Zhang Ling told CCTV that the storm was continuing to weaken as it moved.

“The effects will be felt (in China) through Wednesday,” Zhang said.

China had ordered evacuations of coastal areas in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces to the south, recalled fishing boats and suspended ferry service and some trains.

By 10pm on Monday, Zhejiang had evacuated 381,375 people. Some train services and construction work in Fujian were halted, with boats pulled ashore and nearby residents evacuated.

This year’s typhoon season has been relatively mild in China, although flooding since June has caused scores of deaths, forced around 2 million people to be evacuated and caused more than 49 billion yuan (US$7 billion) in damages.


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