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Typhoon Saola makes landfall in southern China

September 2, 2023

Beijing had issued its highest typhoon warning ahead of Saola reaching land. China has been experiencing some of its deadliest storms in recent years.

Workers clear debris near shophouses after Typhoon Saola struck the city with strong winds and rain, in Hong Kong
Typhoon Saola teared down trees and smashed windows in Hong KongImage: Billy H.C. Kwok/AP/picture alliance

Typhoon Saola made landfall in the Guangdong province of Southern China on Saturday.

Chinese authorities said the storm packed a wind speed of around 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph) as it hit the Zhuhai city of the province.

Nearly 900,000 people were moved to safety while parts of Hong Kong and southern China suspended business transport and classes.

In preparation for the storm, Beijing had issued its highest typhoon warning.

Life suspended in southern China

Over 80,000 fishing vessels returned to port in China. Rail authorities halted all trains entering or leaving Guangdong province until Saturday evening, the state media agency.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people were stranded at the airport after over 460 flights were canceled in key regional areas.

A passenger looks at an information board displayed in an airport
Multiple flights were canceled even before Saola made landfallImage: Daniel Ceng/AP Photo/picture alliance

The start of the school year in several cities was pushed to next week while workers and laborers stayed home. Trading on Hong Kong's stock market was suspended on Friday.

A trail of destruction

Hong Kong also imposed its highest hurricane storm signal of 10 on Friday but lowered it to 8 on Saturday. Heavy rainfall persisted in parts of Hong Kong.

Trees fell and billboard signs had been blown off by the winds. Officials said that over 500 people had sought shelter and close to 50 people had been admitted to the hospital due to injuries from the storm.

A taxi damaged by fallen trees is seen following Super Typhoon Saola in Hong Kong, China
A taxi damaged by fallen trees is seen following Super Typhoon Saola in Hong KongImage: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

On Saturday, the weather authorities in the gambling hub of Macau also warned of flooding in low-lying areas. The cross-border bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and China's Zhuhai city was closed. Before hitting China, the typhoon also passed through Taiwan and the Philippines and left a trail of destruction on its way. 

China has been experiencing some of its deadliest rains and flooding in recent years.

ns/sms (AFP, Reuters)