Typhoon Sarika batters China’s Hainan

Half a million people evacuated as storm makes landfall on China’s southern island province.

Typhoon Sarika
Flooding rains and damaging winds hit Hainan [Getty/VCG]

Typhoon Sarika has slammed into China’s southern island province of Hainan.

More than 520,000 people were evacuated from the path of the storm system as it bore down on the island.

The typhoon made landfall around 1GMT, which is approximately 9am local time, bringing sustained winds of 130kph and gusts as high as 160kph.

Nearly 203 millimetres of rain had fallen on Haikou, the capital of the island province, by midday on Tuesday. 

The severe weather forced the cancellation of all flights to and from Haikou Meilan International Airport until 0830 GMT on Tuesday

Typhoon Sarika has already battered the Philippines, leaving two people dead and thousands homeless.

The typhoon then reintensified as it crossed the South China Sea towards southern China.

After crossing Hainan, the storm was heading towards the China-Vietnam border.

Due to its interaction with land, it is currently weakening. The winds are easing, but the rain will remain torrential.

Flooding and landslides are likely across northern Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi as Sarika moves northwestwards.

Fortunately the remains of the storm will move across northern Vietnam, rather than central parts of the country, which have suffered severe flooding in recent days.

Another storm is following hot on the heels of Typhoon Sakira. Typhoon Haima is a more powerful system which is expected to graze the north of Luzon around 18 GMT on Wednesday.

The typhoon is then expected to hit the Guangdong province in southeast China on Friday.

Additional reporting by Steff Gaulter.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies