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SE China bracing for Typhoon Hato

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-23 08:02

The two-week heat wave in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, will come to a dramatic end on Wednesday with the arrival of typhoon Hato.

Highs in Guangzhou are expected to drop from 39.7 C on Tuesday to 31.9 C on Wednesday, with Hato projected to make landfall between Shenzhen and Wuchuan, according to the Guangdong Meteorological Observatory.

Extreme summer heat in Guangzhou is often associated with typhoons, as the sinking air in the outer part of the typhoon system pushes temperatures up.

On Tuesday morning the Central Meteorological Center issued an orange typhoon alert - the highest so far this year - for Hato, the 13th typhoon formed in the northwest Pacific this year and the fourth to land in China.

Hato was heading northwest at 25 kilometers per hour, with maximum wind speeds at the center reaching 118 km/h, according to the Central Meteorological Center on Tuesday.

High winds were whipped up off Taiwan Island and the coasts of Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces as it gathered strength, with downpours hitting areas of Taiwan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces on Tuesday night.

Heavy rains are expected to extend into the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, as well as Yunnan and Guizhou provinces after Hato's landfall.

To prevent damage, all fishing vessels registered east of Yangjiang, Guangdong, were required to return to harbor by 6 pm on Monday, according to provincial flood control authorities.

More than 4,000 people on fishing rafts in Fujian province returned to the coast.

The Pingtan-Taipei ferry service will be suspended on Wednesday, while the Mawei-Matsu, Huangqi-Matsu and Quanzhou-Kinmen ferry services were suspended on Tuesday.

Ticket sales for Wednesday travel on 90 bullet trains from Jiangxi and Fujian provinces to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, have been suspended by the Nanchang Railway Bureau.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a strong wind alert on Tuesday around 6 pm as the storm intensified gradually. It said it would consider issuing a more serious gale or storm signal at around midnight on Tuesday, as Hato moved closer. Hato is projected to rake the coast within 100 km of Hong Kong on Wednesday morning.

Hato initiated the second active typhoon period this year, with two to three typhoons forecast to form in the northwest Pacific 10 days after it makes landfall, said Xu Yinglong, chief forecaster of the Central Meteorological Center.

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