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58,000 evacuated as typhoon Nesat lands in south China

(Xinhua)

16:58, September 29, 2011

WENCHANG, Hainan, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- About 58,000 people have been evacuated before Nesat, the strongest typhoon that hit China this year, landed in the southern-most island province of Hainan Thursday afternoon.

Packing winds of 42 meters per second at its center, it made landfall in the township of Wengtian in Wenchang at 2:30 p.m., bringing heavy winds and torrential rains to the city in eastern Hainan.

The city had displaced 57,738 people from disaster-prone places including low-lying areas and fishing boats by 2 p.m., said Fu Taosheng, deputy director of the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The province also has recalled ships, suspended flight and ferry services and closed schools to brace for Nesat, which is the 17th typhoon that hit China this year.

Chen Cheng, vice governor of the Hainan, ordered all fishing boats to return to harbor and fishermen to take shelter ashore. In Wenchang alone, 2,606 fishing boats have been recalled to harbor.

Passenger ferry services across the Qiongzhou Strait have been suspended since Wednesday, while railway services stopped Thursday morning.

Hainan has stopped selling bus tickets and encouraged passengers who plan to take buses in the next two days to return their tickets.

To ensure the safety of the children, all kindergartens, primary and middle schools in Wenchang, Sanya, Qionghai and Hainan's capital of Haikou, suspended classes from Thursday to Friday.

The typhoon killed at least 35 in the Philippines.

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