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Tropical storm brings downpours to south China, raises disaster fears

(Xinhua)

10:03, October 05, 2011

Trees sway in gales in Wanning, south China's Hainan Province, Oct. 4, 2011. Strong tropical storm Nalgae landed on Hainan Tuesday afternoon. Nalgae came ashore near Dong'ao Tawnship of Wanning City in Hainan Province at 12:30 p.m., packing winds of 90 kilometers per hour at its center, said the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Station. The station forecast that the tropical storm would move westwards after making landfall, bringing gales and rainfalls to south China's coastal areas. (Xinhua/Jiang Tieying)

NANNING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Experts have warned of rain-triggered geological disasters as strong tropical storm Nalgae landed in south China Tuesday afternoon, bringing torrential rains to the region.

Nalgae came ashore near Dong'ao Township of Wanning City in the southernmost island province of Hainan at 12:30 p.m., packing winds of 90 kilometers per hour at its center, said the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Station.

Starting Monday, intense rains have pelted several counties and cities in south Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where Typhoon Nesat had just unleashed floods and left four dead.

Among the worst hit regions, Jingnan Township near the city of Wuzhou recorded precipitation of 77 mm in a 24-hour period, according to Guangxi regional headquarters for flood control, drought prevention and typhoon precaution.

The headquarters said as rains were forecast to continue on Wednesday and Thursday, the region is likely to be hit by more geological disasters.

Nalgae is the third tropical cyclone to hit Hainan and other south China regions in less than two weeks, after Typhoon Nesat and tropical storm Hitom.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 137,000 people in Hainan had been evacuated from Nalgae's path, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

So far there has been no reports of casualties or property damage on the island.

Ferry and passenger train services in and out of the island have been suspended. Local airports also canceled several flights heading in and out of the province, stranding thousands of passengers.

Also in Hainan, rescuers are rushing to reach 29 trapped travelers on a mountain after floods triggered by Nalgae cut off roads at noon on Tuesday.

Overall, 45 people, all on a driving tour during the weeklong National Day holiday, were reportedly trapped on Wangshanting Mountain in Baisha County, said Chen Hongliang, vice head of Baisha County.

Sixteen have been rescued by boats, and the rest are reported to be safe for the time being.

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