SHANGHAI: China’s first typhoon of the year brought gales and rain to its southern shores on Saturday (Jul 2), as forecasters warned of record rainfall and high disaster risk in provinces including Guangdong, the country’s most populous.
Typhoon Chaba, the Thai name for the hibiscus flower, was moving northwest at 15kmh to 20kmh after the eye of the storm made landfall in Guangdong’s Maoming city on Saturday afternoon, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement.
Chaba, though medium in intensity and expected to lose strength over time, is likely to bring extremely heavy rains and may break the record for cumulative rainfall as it pulls the monsoon rain belt in the region inland, said Gao Shuanzhu, the centre’s chief forecaster.
“The abundant monsoon water vapour will lead to intense downpours and huge cumulative rainfall of an extreme nature,” Gao said, predicting up to 600mm of cumulative rainfall in some areas.
At risk are the west of Guangdong, where China’s typhoons usually linger, the east of Guangxi autonomous region and the island province of Hainan, with rainstorms causing landslides, urban waterlogging and floods, Gao said.
Hainan upgraded its emergency response to Level II, the second-highest, on Saturday. It suspended railway service across the island and cancelled more than 400 flights to and from the cities of Haikou and Sanya.