Over 40,000 evacuated as tropical storm hits south China | world | Hindustan Times
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Over 40,000 evacuated as tropical storm hits south China

world Updated: Apr 19, 2008 14:15 IST

Typhoon Neoguri has weakened into a severe tropical storm after hitting the Hainan island province in south China forcing evacuation of tens of thousands of people, with 18 fishermen still reported missing, local authorities said.

Thirty eight of the 56 fishermen who had lost contact with the local office on Thursday evening were rescued. The fishermen swam to reefs and stayed there until they were found by a rescue ship, Zhang Jie, Vice-Director of the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration, said.

Neoguri slammed into Hainan yesterday evening, causing economic loss, cancellation of flights and leading to tens of thousands of people being evacuated before 80,000 fishermen on 21,800 boats were recalled from the sea.

Shipping services across Qiongzhou Strait in South China resumed today after a 17-hour suspension due to Neoguri, official Xinhua news agency said.

Neoguri is the first typhoon to hit South China this year. At least 42,000 residents have been evacuated to safer places in Hainan, a resort island.

The central observatory said the storm was moving at 10 to 15 kms an hour northward and could land between Wuchuan and Taishan, Guangdonw province today with a weakening force.