Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in southern China and Vietnam as a powerful typhoon made landfall, prompting flood warnings and the cancellation of hundreds of flights and trains.
The China Meteorological Administration said that Typhoon Talim, the fourth typhoon of the year, roared ashore on the coast of Guangdong province at approximately 10:20pm local time (14:20 GMT) on Monday night, bearing maximum winds of 136.8km per hour (85 mph).
Storm surges and lashing rains also hammered the southern coastline from Guangdong to Hainan province, the meteorological administration said.
An orange weather alert, the second-highest warning in a four-tier colour-coded system, was issued and nearly 230,000 people in Guangdong were evacuated to safety as of 5pm local time (09:00 GMT) on Monday, according to state news agency Xinhua.
Chinese authorities ordered the closure of dozens of coastal tourist destinations, while 11 rescue vessels, five helicopters, 46 salvage ships and eight emergency rescue teams were on standby to respond to the storm, it added.
Talim is expected to move to the Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea, and the meteorological administration warned the typhoon may make a second landfall in the coastal area of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday morning.Parts of Guangxi were told to brace for flash floods through Tuesday.
In Vietnam, authorities said on Monday that they were preparing to evacuate about 30,000 people from the areas forecast to be hardest hit in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong provinces.
Talim “might be one of the biggest to hit the Gulf of Tonkin in recent years”, Vietnam’s top disaster response committee said in an online statement.
Tourists have been advised to leave outlying islands and airlines have rescheduled services to avoid the storm.
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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