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Typhoon Mangkhut

Super Typhoon Mangkhut brings back bad memories for people of southern China’s Guangdong

People in Zhuhai stock up on food as fishing boats return to harbour

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 September, 2018, 7:16pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 September, 2018, 10:51am

Residents of Zhuhai in southern China’s Guangdong province were stockpiling food and water on Saturday in preparation for the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, as the government shut down the harbour and sealed off beaches.

The coastal city was lashed by Super Typhoon Hato last year and memories of the damage it caused are still fresh in people’s minds.

All boats and ships had been banned from entering or leaving Jiuzhou Harbour, a worker there said.

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Local news portal reported earlier that 3,705 fishing boats had been called back to harbour and 1,820 people working on fishing rafts had also returned to shore.

The city government said it had opened 215 storm shelters and evacuated 3,486 people. It has also closed 20 beaches and scenic spots, and suspended operations at 30 construction sites.

Posters were put up warning people to stay away from coastal areas, and also in car parks asking owners to move their vehicles away from the potential danger areas.

A taxi driver, who asked not to be named, said that when Hato struck last year, the whole of “Lovers’ Promenade”, a coastal road lined with palm trees, five-star hotels and high-end homes, was completely flooded.

Seawater crashed onto the road and inundated an underground car park leaving dozens of vehicles badly damaged, he said.

“I saw trees fall in front of my eyes and stuff was flying around in the air, it was quite frightening,” he said. He said the power and water supplies to his house were cut off for four or five days.

Zhang Kai, another Zhuhai resident, said he saw cars floating down the flooded streets and that after the torrents had subsided, vehicles were left stacked on top of one another.

A customer at a Deyi supermarket in the city said she was stocking up on instant noodles as she had forgotten to do so last year.

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A store employee said people had been scrambling to buy bottled water over the past few days, adding that stocks of ham and sausages were dwindling.

A report by Nanfang Daily said that more than 20,000 construction projects in coastal cities across Guangdong had been suspended in preparation for Mangkhut’s arrival, which is expected some time on Sunday.

Emergency response levels were upgraded to red, the highest in a four-tier system, in most coastal cities, including Zhanjiang and Yangjiang.

Meanwhile, all shipping routes in the Qiongzhou Strait off the coast of Guangdong had been suspended as of Saturday morning, Xinhua reported.

Authorities in Hainan said the island’s high-speed rail service would be suspended from Sunday to Tuesday, while all scenic areas would be closed on Sunday and Monday, news portal reported, citing the provincial tourism commission.

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Taiwan’s central weather bureau issued an offshore typhoon warning on Saturday morning warning of strong winds and rain across the island, where waves were reported at up to 11 metres (36 feet) throughout the day.

On Friday, a woman was swept away by a three-metre wave in Yilan county in northeastern Taiwan, local media reported.

Aside from disrupting people’s daily lives in southern China, Super Typhoon Mangkhut has also delayed the launch of Stock Connect, a partnership between the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. The event was planned for Monday but has now been put back to September 26.