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Severe Tropical Storm Pakhar

Pakhar brings more heavy rains and fresh transport chaos to southern China

Cities trying to recover from Hato issue red alert as severe tropical storm sweeps in

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 August, 2017, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 August, 2017, 9:29pm

Severe Tropical Storm Pakhar landed at Taishan city in western Guangdong this morning, bringing torrential rainfall and disrupting transport across the province.

Local meteorological authorities said Pakhar brought gales of 33 meters per second in the eye of the storm when it landed on Taishan’s coast at 9am.

Heavy rainfall was recorded in the Pearl River Delta region, with Shenzhen seeing rainfall of up to 162mm.

Wind power was measured at as high as grade 11-13 in many places of the delta region, the news portal cyol.net reported.

Cities in the province that suffered from Typhoon Hato last week issued a red alert this morning, the highest level of warning against this natural disaster, the report said.

Cities including Zhuhai and Zhongshan ordered the suspension of factory work, markets and schooling, and Jiangmen halted work in the service and transport industries.

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At least 14 flights by Air China, Xiamen Airlines and Shandong Airlines heading to or leaving Zhuhai were cancelled, according to civil aviation news portal carnoc.com.

Shenzhen airport announced on its microblog account on Sunday morning that a total of 135 flights at the airport had been cancelled.

Major highways in southern and western parts of Guangdong were shut down on Sunday morning. The winds on the Guangzhou-Zhuhai expressway were so powerful at 9:27 am that surveillance cameras installed on the road were shaken badly, said the Guangdong Transportation Group.

Trees were brought down and blown onto the motorway between Jiangmen and Taishan.

Nearly 2,500 coach services from Guangzhou’s long-distance bus station were cancelled between 8am and 10 am on Sunday.

Zhuhai shut down all bridges, elevated roads and expressways in the early morning of Sunday, before they reopened at about noon. Local authorities said some roads in the city were seriously inundated with water.

More than 20 electricity lines in Shenzhen went down, with about 15,000 families or companies affected.

Guangdong Meteorological Centre forecast that Pakhar would move into Guangxi territory on Sunday afternoon. Heavy rain was forecast in western parts of Guangdong and the Pear River Delta region for the rest of Sunday and into Monday.

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Guangdong, as well as adjacent Guangxi and Yunan, are still recovering from the damage caused by Typhoon Hato last week.

A Guangdong disaster relief official told Xinhua that the similar path of Pakhar and Hato may cause further damage to the affected areas, adding that some shelters and facilities had already been compromised by Hato.