Over 880,000 evacuated in China's coastal provinces as super typhoon Saola nears

More than 100,000 local residents in Fujian and over 780,000 in Guangdong have been evacuated ahead of the likely landfall of the super typhoon Saola.

More than 100,000 local residents in east China's Fujian Province and over 780,000 in south China's Guangdong have been evacuated ahead of the likely landfall of the super typhoon Saola, according to the latest official figures.

From 6am Thursday to 6am Friday, 92 townships in 18 county-level regions of Fujian each reported accumulated precipitation of over 50 mm, among which 17 townships saw the precipitation level exceeded 100 mm.

The maximum precipitation was registered in Yongning Township of Shishi City at up to 150.7 mm. The city's Jinshang Township saw a maximum hourly rainfall of 81.8 mm.

The provincial hydrography bureau of Guangdong has estimated that from Friday to Sunday, the Pearl River's estuary and some tide-gauge stations to its east are likely to see the water exceeding warning levels.

Meanwhile, there is a likelihood that some rivers in the central and southern regions of Guangdong may experience flooding due to the heavy rainfall brought about by the typhoon, the bureau added. The possibility of mountain torrents in the affected areas is also high.

According to the forecast of the meteorological, hydrological and marine departments, the super typhoon is expected to make landfall in or near the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong, on Friday night, causing severe rainstorms and gales from Friday afternoon.

The flood, drought and typhoon control headquarters in Shenzhen has ordered the suspension of construction, business operations and commercial activities from 4pm and of public transportation from 7pm Schools have been suspended since Thursday afternoon in Shenzhen.

Authorities in the affected coastal provinces have taken timely measures to ensure the safety of the locals.

As of Friday, primary schools, middle schools and kindergartens in 13 cities of Guangdong have been asked to push back the start of the new semester to September 4 due to the approaching super typhoon Saola, according to the provincial flood, drought and typhoon control headquarters.

In the entire Guangdong Province, over 4,100 trains have come to a halt since 4pm Thursday and 67 waterway passenger traffic routes have suspended their services as of 10pm Thursday.

On Thursday, Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport canceled 60 flights, while another airport in Guangdong, Huizhou Pingtan Airport, plans to cancel 21 flights on Friday.

Nearly 85,000 fishery vessels in Guangdong have returned to their harbors, and 82 coastal resorts have been temporarily closed.

As of 9pm Thursday, nearly 3,880 fishing boats had all returned to port for shelter in Fujian, with more than 25,000 people aboard having gone ashore. Over 27,000 workers in the coastal aquaculture sector of the province have been evacuated to the shore, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

A total of 115 scenic areas across Fujian have been temporarily shut down, 314 under-construction projects halted, and 67 port companies closed temporarily, according to the requirements of local authorities.

As of 7pm Thursday, approximately 64,000 rescue and repair personnel were placed on standby in seven cities across Guangdong to mitigate potential dangers posed by the typhoon.

In Fujian, multiple road and waterway passenger traffic services, including ferry services between its coastal islands, have suspended operation. Currently, more than 60,000 rescue personnel are on standby across the province.

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