Typhoon Haima raises flood alarm in south China

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People measure the wind speed on a street in Hong Kong, south China, Oct. 21, 2016. With the arrival of Typhoon Haima, public transportation was partly suspended and schools were closed in Hong Kong on Friday. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

Typhoon Haima barreled into south China Friday, triggering sudden downpours in several cities as authorities rushed to issue warnings against floods, landslides, and other weather-related disasters.

According to local meteorological services, Haima made landfall in the city of Shanwei, Guangdong Province, shortly after noon. It weakened as it traveled further north. But at least five counties and cities in Guangdong experienced unabated heavy rain Friday night.

Shanwei disaster relief office said gales and rain from Haima caused 59 dike ruptures, and damaged 21 dam gates and 179 water facilities. In nearby Huizhou City, a shoe factory was inundated, trapping 21 people inside. Fortunately, after a two-hour rescue they were transferred to a safer location.

Heavy rainfall has been forecast to last for two days in several cities.

Thousands of blankets and clothes, hundreds of tents and folding beds have been dispatched by the provincial government to be distributed among the areas hit hard by the typhoon.

He Guoqing, a senior official with the provincial disaster relief office, warned that the water level at most of the province's dams were at dangerous levels, and the ground, especially on mountain slopes, was still saturated from the last typhoon. The danger of flooding and landslides is now "very high," he said.

No casualties have been reported from Haima by Friday night.

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