Typhoon hits southern China

A powerful typhoon slammed into southern China after skirting Hong Kong and bringing death and widespread flooding to the Philippines earlier this week.

Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the eastern tip of China's Hainan island at 2:30 pm and was packing winds as high as 94 miles (150 kilometers) an hour, the official Xinhua News Agency said.



The storm blew down trees and flooded streets as it moved across Hainan, photos on state media showed. A large tree toppled onto a parked car in the provincial capital, Haikou.



Flood control officials said nearly 58,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in eastern Wenchang city and 67 flights were canceled at the island's two airports, Xinhua said.



Hainan authorities closed schools, suspended ferry services and recalled fishing boats as the storm made its way across the South China Sea from the Philippines, where it killed 35 people and left another 45 missing.



The storm swept past Hong Kong earlier in the day, forcing the stock market to suspend trading and shops and businesses to close but causing little damage. The Asian financial center's normally bustling streets were eerily quiet, with few people venturing outside to brave the rain and fierce winds.



Two people were injured when bamboo scaffolding was blown over and collapsed onto a taxi, while a man was injured by a falling tree, local broadcaster RTHK said. A barge ripped free from its moorings in the rough seas and slammed into a seawall on Hong Kong Island, forcing some nearby apartments to be evacuated, news reports said.



Local broadcaster Cable TV showed footage of tour groups from mainland China, some heading to Macau, who were temporarily stranded after cross-border ferry services were suspended. At Hong Kong's airport, 245 flights were delayed, 20 were canceled and 22 diverted to other airports by 3 p.m.



The storm came within 220 miles (350 kilometers) of Hong Kong in the morning before moving away, said the Hong Kong Observatory, which lowered its gale-force wind warning by late afternoon.



The National Meteorological Center reported that fishing boats were in port and schools along the coast had been shut in advance of the typhoon, which is the 17th and likely the strongest to hit Hainan this year.



Nesat left devastation in the Philippines, triggering some of the worst flooding in downtown Manila in decades.



Floodwaters were receding in most places, but many low-lying communities in the north remained in crisis.



Mayor Santiago Austria of the rice-farming town of Jaen in Nueva Ecija province appealed to the government for help, saying many people in his community of 63,000 needed to be rescued but that officials there had only four rescue boats.



"Many people here are still on top of their houses. We don't have enough boats to reach them and hand them food," Austria said.



In all, nearly 500,000 people were affected by the typhoon in the northern Philippines, of which about 170,000 were forced to flee their homes and were in various evacuation centers. The government estimated damage to farms and infrastructure at 1.15 billion pesos ($26 million).



Meanwhile, a new tropical storm was brewing in the Pacific, Philippine government forecaster Bobby Javier said, adding that it already had sustained winds of 52 mph (85 kph) and gusts up to 62 mph (100 kph) and was expected to strengthen significantly before hitting major parts of the country in the next few days.



AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project