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Typhoon's fury kills 20, cuts power and water in south China

Publication Date : 21-07-2014

 

Rammasun, the strongest typhoon to hit South China in 41 years, claimed 11 lives in Hainan province and nine in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Three more were missing in Hainan.

The super typhoon, which reportedly killed 77 people in the Philippines, made landfalls in Hainan and Guangdong provinces and then in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning.

Bringing fierce wind and torrential rain, Rammasun caused 13.1 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) in direct economic losses in Guangdong alone by 8 pm on Sunday, according to Guangdong's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The storm had affected 3.2 million people and toppled more than 23,000 houses in Hainan by Sunday, with further losses still being calculated.

More than 201,000 hectares of farmland had been destroyed in Guangdong, with banana and sugar cane crops blown down.

Twenty-three fishermen who failed to return to harbor in time and were stranded in Tongming Bay in Zhanjiang on Friday afternoon were all brought to safety after 13 hours of rescue.

By Sunday, China Southern Power Grid had dispatched more than 23,647 workers to respond to emergencies and repair damaged facilities.

Massive blackouts and water supply failures hit Beihai city in Guangxi, Xuwen county in Guangdong and Haikou in Hainan.

By Saturday night, the power supply to Yongzhuang water plant in Haikou was restored, with power to a reservoir still cut, affecting two other water plants. Spare wells, water supply vehicles and fire engines distributed water, Hainan Daily reported.

By Sunday afternoon, all four water plants in Haikou resumed operation and started to provide water, local government said.

The Hainan provincial branch of China Mobile had restored 1,594 base stations by Sunday afternoon, as Rammasun cut the power supply to over 6,200 stations.

Hotels and restaurants in Xuwen, Zhanjiang, were fully occupied on Saturday night because they had power generators and temporary water supply, with candles sold out, Zhanjiang Daily reported.

Although the Meilan International Airport in Haikou resumed operation on Saturday, planes had to wait for passengers stranded in disrupted road traffic, China News Service reported.

Shipping service resumed across the Qiongzhou Strait at 4pm on Saturday.

The Red Cross Society of China delivered family kits, tents, quilts and clothes to the three provinces struck by the typhoon.

Guangdong's Finance Department delivered 80 million yuan on Sunday to affected cities for their relief work.

Rammasun whipped winds up to 215 km/h at its center when it made a landfall in Wengtian, Hainan.

Gao Shuanzhu, an engineer with the National Meteorological Center, said Rammasun is only the second typhoon to have landed at that speed since China started to keep meteorological records in 1949.

Meanwhile, a three-meter killer whale was blown ashore at Hailing Island in Guangdong on Saturday afternoon and was moved back to sea by residents.

 

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