Tourists walk in the wind and rain on the Bai Causeway of the West Lake in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Aug. 8, 2012. Typhoon Haikui brought downpours and floods to east China after landing in Hepu Town of Zhejiang's Xiangshan County early Wednesday morning. (Xinhua/Long Wei)
HANGZHOU, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Haikui, the 11th typhoon of the year, has brought downpours and floods to east China after landing in Zhejiang Province early Wednesday morning, the provincial observatory said.
Haikui landed in Hepu Township, Xiangshan County near the Sanmenwan Gulf in central Zhejiang at 3:20 a.m. with a maximum wind speed of 150 km per hour, the observatory said.
Provincial authorities have evacuated 1.5 million people in preparation for the storm, as it is expected to remain in the province for 24 hours before moving to neighboring Anhui Province, said Li Jian, head of the provincial meteorological bureau.
Rain-triggered flooding stranded about 130 people in three hotels in the city of Lin'an, local rescuers said, adding that 123 people have been rescued thus far. Roads to the hotels were flooded, forcing the rescuers to walk the last two kilometers on foot.
Another 300 tourists were stranded in a scenic area in Anji County after a bridge linking the scenic spot and the foot of a nearby mountain was destroyed Tuesday, county officials said.
The bridge was briefly fixed Tuesday afternoon and some tourists were rescued, but the bridge was severed again Wednesday morning after more rains hit the area, officials said.
The rains have also caused 12 townships to lose power, according to the provincial power company.
Railway authorities have canceled all passenger trains departing from and arriving at the cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang.
The Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport closed at 7:30 a.m. due to strong winds, airport staff said.
The neighboring city of Shanghai prepared for the storm by relocating 374,000 people before gales and downpours started to hit the city on Wednesday, according to the Shanghai observatory.
All parks and construction sites in Shanghai have been closed and employers have been asked to give their staff a day off on Wednesday, according to the municipal government.
At noon Wednesday, Shanghai issued a red alert for the typhoon, the highest alert in the country's four-tier color-coded weather warning system.
A typhoon-triggered rainstorm battered the city from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, with maximum precipitation approaching 130 mm in some areas, the Shanghai observatory said.
Services on the maglev line connecting Shanghai's Pudong New Area with the Shanghai Pudong Airport, as well as the Shanghai-Hangzhou High-speed Railway and a section of the city's line 2 subway have been suspended as a result of the storm.
The storm is expected to bring gales and rainstorms to southern areas in east China's Jiangsu Province Wednesday afternoon, according to the provincial meteorological station.
Authorities in Jiangsu had relocated 171,400 people and ordered more than 18,000 ships to return to harbor as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.
Haikui is the third typhoon to wallop China's eastern coast in a week after storms Saola and Damrey hit the region over the weekend.
SHANGHAI, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's commercial hub of Shanghai was rushing to relocate people in order to avoid risks posed by the approaching severe typhoon Haikui, officials with the municipal flood control headquarters said Tuesday.
It was estimated that over 200,000 people threatened by typhoon Haikui would be relocated before 9 p.m. Tuesday, said Zhang Zhenyu, deputy director of the headquarters' office. Full story
HANGZHOU, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in east China's Taizhou City ordered all businesses and schools closed on Tuesday, as approaching Typhoon Haikui is forecast to make a landfall via the coastal region is in the evening. Full story