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Thousands Evacuated, Trains Halted as Typhoon Hato Approaches China

Thousands of people were evacuated in parts of south China in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Hato, set to make landfall on August 23.

The eye of Hato, the 13th typhoon to hit China this year, was recorded 415 km southeast of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province as of 9 p.m. on August 22. It is expected to move northwest at speeds between 20 kph and 25 kph, according to Guangdong provincial meteorological bureau.

The coast between Zhuhai and Yangjiang should prepare for the typhoon to make landfall in the morning, it said.

Fishermen and fish farm workers have been evacuated from the coast.

Train services on the Guangzhou-Nanning line will be suspended starting 5 a.m. on August 23, said railway authorities in neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Nanning is the regional capital.

High-speed trains linking Shenzhen with the eastern provinces of Fujian and Jiangxi will also be canceled.

In coastal Fujian, more than 4,000 fish farmers and their families have returned to shore and all fishing boats returned to harbor on August 22.

The typhoon is expected to bring heavy rain to Guangdong and Fujian. Huge waves as high as ten meters are expected in the South China Sea as the typhoon moves past, according to the State Oceanic Administration.

Guangdong's flood relief agency said Hato could cause severe damage because it is growing stronger as it nears shore. The typhoon also comes at a time when the Guangdong coast was busy with tourists and fish farm workers.

The agency warned of possible severe flooding in low-lying areas.

On August 22, southwestern province of Guizhou has also started disaster alert measures ahead of the typhoon's arrival.

From August 22 to 25, Guizhou will see rainstorms in its western and southern areas, according to the provincial meteorological bureau. Some regions are expected to receive over 300 millimeters of precipitation.

The provincial disaster relief office has issued warnings for natural disasters.

(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2017) 

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