Nearly 100 ships' crew members from Cambodia, Vietnam and China are missing in heavy seas off south China's Hainan Island, a local official said Saturday.
More than 20 ships in the area had been affected by gale conditions resulting from tropical storm Goni, said Xie Fuchun, an official with the Hainan Province's Bureau of Maritime Affairs.
Rescue vessels and helicopters are being used to locate the missing crewmen, said Yang Pansheng, the bureau head. The exact number of rescue craft is not known.
In Guangdong, a female passenger was killed and the driver is missing after flooding blocked a bus route. Twelve houses have been destroyed and nearly 200,000 people affected by storm-related problems.
Goni, the seventh storm to hit China this year, was 19.2 degrees north and 108.3 degrees east at 10 a.m. Saturday, 30 kilometers from Dongfang City in the west of Hainan.
Packing winds of 65 kilometers per hour, it was moving southwestwards at a speed of five kilometers an hour and was likely to land on the island within 12 hours, said the island's meteorological station
(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2009)