Tropical storm approaches South China

09:18, July 16, 2010      

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Tropical storm "Conson" has started to affect China's southernmost island province of Hainan Thursday morning with strong gales, while 600 km away on the South China Sea.

The storm was moving at 15-20 kilometers per hour, with maximum winds of 90 kph near the center towards Wenchang City to the northeast of Hainan, the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Station said Thursday morning.

Ship and railway services linking Hainan to other parts of China were called off Thursday afternoon.

The provincial disaster prevention headquarters issued an alert Tuesday calling for fishing ships in the vicinity to seek harbor as Conson was approaching China after lashing the Philippines, causing deaths.

The station expected Conson to hit land Friday afternoon at coastal areas of Sanya, a beach resort in the island province, and Dianbai City in south China's Guangdong Province.

Heavy downpours were forecast to hit the province starting Thursday evening, and continue to affect Guangdong and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as the storm moves inland.

Guangdong raised the wind alert level Thursday morning and asked local authorities to call back fishermen and relocate residents living in unsafe regions before the arrival of Conson, which could gain strength equivalent to a Typhoon.



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