Typhoon Kalmaegi landed in China’s southernmost island province Hainan on Tuesday morning, forcing flight cancellations and boat evacuations.
The typhoon made landfall in Wengtian Township, Wenchang City at a speed of 40 meters per second at 9:40 a.m. It is the fifteenth typhoon to hit China this year.
It also landed in the coastal areas of Xuwen County, Guangdong Province at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the provincial meteorological bureau.
Typhoon Kalmaegi is weaker than the super typhoon Rammasun that killed 62 people in July, according to Gao Yuanfu from Mingyue Village, Wengtian Township.
Gao’s leg, tied with a bandage, was badly injured in typhoon Rammasun,the strongest typhoon to hit south China in four decades. Gao’s family has been living in tents for the past two months as his house was blown away in the last typhoon.
“Our new house has yet to be completed and we suffer again,” said Gao, who is worried most about his harvest.
“It is only half a month away from the harvest,” he said, adding that he will suffer losses again.
More than 20,000 residents have been resettled in 24 temporary settlements since Monday morning, said Zheng Hongyan, Party secretary of the Wengtian township government.
“Although typhoon Kalmaegi is weaker than typhoon Rammasun, the rising sea water is more serious,” said Liu Mancang, a shop owner in the provincial city of Haikou. There was 50-cm of water in his shop.
Flooding sea water reached 1.2 meters deep on Changdi Road in Haikou. In one area, water overflowed into a nearby police station courtyard and engulfed several police motorcycles.
Refrigerators, motorcycles, washing machines and computers in supermarkets and shops were seen submerged in water.
“Water is rising too quickly to move them out,” said a supermarket owner surnamed Li.
As of Tuesday noon, power supply in more than 245 residential compounds in Haikou had been cut off and three water plants suspended water supply.
The provincial capital’s Haikou Meilan International Airport canceled 104 flights on Tuesday. The resort city of Sanya’s Phoenix International Airport canceled 69 flights as of 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
In Lingao County, more than 4,300 fishing boats have been called back to shore and 19,924 people have been evacuated, according to the county government.
Torrential rains hit many parts of western Guangdong on Tuesday, blowing down trees and causing floods in urban areas. All boat services were suspended across the Qiongzhou Straits.
“Typhoon Rammasun, which landed in Xuwen two months ago, devastated the banana industry,” said Zhou Jincong, a local resident, adding typhoon Kalmaegi would further reduce agriculture output this year.
At Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the busiest airport in south China, most flights were unaffected by the typhoon, with only 11 flights canceled and three delayed on Tuesday.
At Nanning International Airport of the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 30 flights have been canceled as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Some 44 trains also suspended services on Tuesday, according to the Nanning Railway Bureau.
Both Guangdong and Hainan provincial governments issued the highest Grade I alerts on Monday for Kalmaegi, which will bring heavy rains to the region in the coming two days.