Typhoon Sarika Slams Into China’s Hainan Before Heading Inland

Typhoon Sarika slammed China’s southern island of Hainan on Tuesday, forcing evacuations and more than 200 flights to be canceled.

The storm made landfall in the southeastern city of Wanning at 9:50 a.m. local time, packing winds of 162 kilometers an hour, the official Xinhua News Agency said. More than 13,700 residents in low-lying areas and poor housing were evacuated, Xinhua said. No casualties have been reported so far.

The China News Service showed images of rough waves, toppled trees and store signs blown from their mounts. A bus carrying 45 passengers overturned on a highway Monday evening because of slippery roads and winds ahead of the typhoon, Xinhua said. No one was injured, the report said.

At least 250 flights were canceled at Haikou’s Meilan International airport. A red alert remains in effect, according to the nation’s meteorological center.

The capital city of Haikou suffered estimated economic losses of 1 billion yuan ($148 million) due to damage to farms, transportation and water facilities, national radio reported. Earlier in the week, the typhoon passed through the Philippines, wreaking at least 2.14 billion pesos ($44 million) in agricultural damage.

The typhoon is expected pass through Hainan in the evening on its way toward the Chinese mainland, where it will likely make landfall Wednesday afternoon, the meteorological center said. Parts of Hainan, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces may receive up to 80 millimeters of rain per hour through Wednesday, the center said.

— With assistance by Gregory Turk, and Jing Jin

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