Tropical storm approaches southern China island amid nationwide rain disasters

13:17, August 23, 2010      

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The fifth tropical storm of the year is expected to arrive at China's southernmost island province Hainan Monday night or Tuesday, amid nationwide rain-triggered disasters, the local weather bureau reported.

A tropical low pressure system across the South China Sea intensified into a tropical storm at 8 a.m. Monday. The storm, by name of "Mindulle," will move northwest at 15 to 20 kilometers per hour in the coming 24 hours, the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Bureau reported.

Mindulle, which means dandelion in Korean, is expected either to make landfall in the island province between midnight and Tuesday morning, packing high winds and torrential rain, it said.

The provincial maritime bureau issued a sailing ban at 6:30 a.m. on at least one third of passenger and cargo ships that were unable to withstand winds up to 60 km per hour.

More than 20,000 fishing boats have been called back, according to a statement issued by the bureau at 10 a.m.

Heavy rain and subsequent geological disasters have taken heavy tolls across China this summer.

A rain-triggered mudslide hit Zhouqu in northwest China's Gansu Province on Aug. 8, leaving at least 1,435 dead and 330 still missing.

Last week's mudslides in a remote mountain town in southwest China's Yunnan Province have killed at least 29 people and left 63 others missing.

Rain-triggered mudslides also killed at least 18 people in Wenchuan and Qingchuan counties in southwest China's Sichuan -- which is still recovering from the massive earthquake of 2008.

In Neijiang City of Sichuan, three days of torrential rain has resulted in four deaths, two injured and left one person missing as of Sunday, the local government said Monday.

Heavy rain also wreaked havoc in northeast China's Liaoning Province as a major river bordering China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has swelled, forcing the evacuation of some 253,500 residents.

Source: Xinhua


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