Kammuri, the ninth tropical storm of the year, on Wednesday hit south China's Guangdong Province from Yangxi on its coast at 7:45 PM, according to the local observatory.
When it made landfall from Xitou Town, Yangxi County, it produced 10-force winds at the central area and moved inland at 90 km per hour, said the Guangdong Provincial Weather Observatory.
There was torrential rain after landfall, but there were no reports yet of human casualties, said the Yangjiang City Headquarters of flood control, drought and storm relief.
Yangxi falls under the jurisdiction of Yangjiang City.
Huang Zhong, chief forecaster with the Guangdong Provincial Weather Observatory, said that after midday on Wednesday, the strong tropical storm swept through Shangchuan and Hailing, two isles off the coast of Guangdong, and moved west along the coast until its landfall.
He predicted the storm would continue to move west along the coast as it weakened.
Affected by Kammuri, there were strong winds in the northern part of the South China Sea and heavy rain in coastal areas of Guangdong. Wushi Township in Leizhou Peninsula, western Guangdong, recorded 184 mm of rain, the most in the province, on Wednesday.
More torrential rain is predicted in western Guangdong and parts of the Pearl River Delta on Thursday and Friday.
Kammuri appeared in the northeastern part of the South China Sea and intensified into a strong tropical storm at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
The storm was the third to hit China this season, after tropical storm Kalmaegi in early July and typhoon Fung-Wong last week.
China Southern Airlines said that as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 of its flights didn't operate because of heavy rain in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong, all in the Pearl River Delta.
A number of flights to Guangzhou and Shenzhen had to be diverted.
Shenzhen Airport authorities said heavy rain caused about 100 outbound delays, with 41 departures cancelled on Wednesday, while more than 30 in-bound flights were cancelled and 10 arrivals were diverted.
Strong wind also caused the temporary closure of a bridge connecting Zhuhai, a coastal city in Guangdong, and the Macao Special Administrative Region on Wednesday. Three ferries at Zhuhai were also pulled from service temporarily on Wednesday because of poor sea conditions.
The Guangdong Provincial Headquarters for Flood, Drought and Wind Control said 42,434 fishing boats at sea, with 157,662 people aboard, had returned to shore by Wednesday afternoon, while 162,791 people who had been working at sea or in other dangerous areas were evacuated.
In Yangjiang City alone, 6,587 fishing boats, with 24,605 people aboard, returned to shore, and 7,274 people were evacuated.
Coast guards in Zhongshan City also helped 800 craft return to port, while 500 residents living in dangerous areas were helped to evacuate.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Wednesday also sent a working group to Yangjiang to give guidance in Guangdong's efforts to combat strong winds.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2008)