Typhoon Nida smashes into southern China

Hong Kong grinds to a halt as the strongest typhoon since 1983 hits the region.

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    Typhoon Nida forced schools to close. Meanwhile, ferries were also suspended along with tram services on Hong Kong Island. [EPA]
    Typhoon Nida forced schools to close. Meanwhile, ferries were also suspended along with tram services on Hong Kong Island. [EPA]

    Typhoon Nida made landfall near Hong Kong on Monday, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds across parts of southern China.

    The system weakened quickly and within seven hours of arriving, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a final warning as the winds eased down, although widespread flooding remains a threat.

    Typhoon Nida (which is locally known as Carina) made landfall near the Dapeng Peninsula in Guangdong province on the South China Sea at 0400 local time (2000 GMT Monday).

    It is Hong Kong's first major typhoon this year, and it hit with winds around 135km/h and gusts approaching 165km/h. Hong Kong Observatory issued an amber warning for the heavy rain accompanying the storm.

    Meanwhile, Guangzhou in Guangdong province issued its highest, red alert warnings as concerns over heavy flooding grew.

    Hong Kong International Airport recorded 124mm of rain on Monday. Nearby, Shangchuan Dao, located 154km to the southwest, received 282mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 0600GMT on Tuesday.

    The typhoon currently lies around 100km to the northwest of Hong Kong and those winds are already nearer 90km/h, with gusts up to 110km/h. Those winds will barely reach 35km/h by Tuesday evening.

    Much of Hong Kong escaped any significant damage, although fallen trees and lamp posts did block roads for a short time.

    The high winds and torrential rain forced schools, businesses, and transport services to shut. Around 325 flights were cancelled, leaving passengers briefly stranded at the airport.

    The remnants of Typhoon Nida are expected to spill across southwest China over the next few days, threatening widespread flooding. Local authorities have already evacuated tens of thousands of people from coastal areas.

    Seven industrial cities in the Guangdong Province are expecting to bear the brunt of Typhoon Nida. These cities include Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Guangzhou, Foshan and Shunde.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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