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Typhoon Prapiroon slams into S. China province, packing rainstorm
4/8/2006 14:49

Under strong wind and heavy rain brought by typhoon Prapiroon, which slammed into south China's Guangdong Province last evening, more than 100 fishermen of neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have been stranded by rough seas for more than a dozen hours.
According to the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Headquarters for Flood Control and Drought Relief, by dusk of Thursday, there were more than 40 fishing vessels carrying over 100 people stranded on rough seas several hundred to several thousand meters from the harbor of Beihai city as the berths were fully occupied.
Local maritime affairs department, navy and armed police failed to rescue the stranded fishermen out of the rough seas on Thursday evening due to the fact that big ships could not go out to sea when it ebb-tided and speed boats could not operate on sea because of strong winds, according to the headquarters.
Wen Kahua, a member of the Standing Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has called for efforts to strictly check the number of fishing vessels and people stranded on the sea and contact them every hour.
Wen, who is also secretary of the Beihai City Committee of the CPC, urged officials and rescuers of the Beihai City Maritime Salvage Station to carry out rescue operations at any moment.
All-out efforts will be tried to guarantee the safety of the lives of the stranded fishermen, Wen said.
Typhoon Prapiroon made landfall at the coastal area between Yangxi County and Dianbai County in western Guangdong at 7:20 p.m. Thursday. With a speed of 33 meters per second, the wind power reached 12 degrees on the Beaufort Scale near its eye.
The typhoon will move toward inland area of Guangdong within 12 hours at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour.
It will enter Guangxi, just west of Guangdong, on Friday, local meteorological station forecast.
Influenced by typhoon Prapiroon, it was raining heavily in Beihai city. The typhoon also brought wind measuring seven degrees on the Beaufort Scale to the city.
Local aquiculture authorities warned that if the wind grows into eight degrees, it will be more dangerous to those stranded on the sea.
Before Prapiroon's landing, 406,343 people had been moved to safety in the provinces of Hainan and Guangdong and the Guangxi region.
Meanwhile, 62,023 vessels from Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi had returned to harbor.
Flood-control authorities in the provinces and region called for closer watch on the typhoon and asked related departments to take emergency steps to prevent possible disasters triggered by Prapiroon, including landslide, mud-and-rock flow, house collapse and flooding.
Local meteorological stations forecast that typhoon will bring strong wind and heavy rain to Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan until Saturday.
In Guangdong, efforts to rescue 12 sailors stranded on the sea are continuing by press time.
Influenced by strong wind and heavy rain brought by typhoon Prapiroon, which struck Hong Kong on Thursday, 3,000 passengers were stranded at the airport while over 800 flights were affected, according to the Hong Kong Airport Authority.
Prapiroon also led to suspension of ferry services from Hong Kong to Macau and train services between Hong Kong and China's mainland.
Classes were suspended in Macau's kindergartens, primary and middle schools and out-door operations were called off due to strong wind and heavy rain brought by Prapiroon.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs issued an emergency notice on Thursday calling on concerned departments of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan to observe closely the movement and influence of Prapiroon and disasters and losses caused by the typhoon.
Emergency efforts should be made to relocate people to safe place and to cut the losses brought by Prapiroon to the minimum, according to the notice.
The notice also urged concerned departments to get fully-prepared to guarantee timely delivery of relief fund and materials to all affected people.