Holiday chaos and tens of thousands evacuated as Typhoon Mujigae hits southern China

Holiday chaos and tens of thousands evacuated as Typhoon Mujigae hits southern China | South China Morning Post

A strong typhoon roared into southern China on Sunday, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain to the region, leaving one person dead and 16 fisherman missing.

Authorities in Shunde, Foshan, also said three people were killed and 80 injured when a tornado hit the district.

Watch tornado video:

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated before Typhoon Mujigae made landfall near Zhanjiang in Guangdong just after 2pm, said the National Meteorological Centre.

Electricity was suspended in many residential and office buildings in the city, China News Service reported.

READ MORE: Flights cut, MTR trains down, trees uprooted and runner rescued in Hong Kong as Typhoon Mujigae sweeps inland

Electricity was also suspended in Haizhu and Panyu districts in Guangzhou. A Guangzhou driver for Uber said Haizhu was like a disaster zone. "All the trees were toppled, there were no street lights and even the traffic lights were all gone. There was no power in the district and some areas were flooded," she said.

All the trees were toppled, there were no street lights and even the traffic lights were all goneDriver describing Haizhu district in Guangzhou

The centre had already issued a red alert - the highest level of weather preparedness - warning that as much as 280mm of rain was likely to be recorded in some areas by this morning.

Packing winds of 180 km/h at its centre, Mujigae was moving northwest at about 20 km/h, the meteorological centre said.

The typhoon is expected to lash both Guangdong and Hainan, where thousands of people have flocked during the week-long National Day holiday. It is expected to weaken as it heads further inland.

Read more: Typhoon Mujigae forecast closest to Hong Kong after midnight as city lashed by squally showers, strong winds

Scores of flights in and out of Hainan's main airport in Haikou have been cancelled, and high-speed rail service between Haikou and Sanya was suspended Saturday and yesterday. China Southern Airlines cancelled 19 flights in Guangdong, and more than 500 passengers in Nanning, Guangxi , were affected, Xinhua reported.



Maritime attractions were halted in coastal regions after authorities upgraded the alert for the approaching super typhoon to orange, Xinhua reported. In Sanya many tourists ignored warning notices and went swimming at the beaches, news portal Thepaper.cn reported.

More than 500 tourists were stranded in the Fang Ji island resort in Maoming . The authorities began to evacuate tourists from the island on Saturday, but the operation was interrupted by strong winds. The remaining tourists were transferred to hotels.

More than 60,000 fishing boats returned to port in Guangdong and Hainan and more than 40,000 fishermen working on fish farms moved to shelters.

Mujigae blew out of the northern Philippines early on Saturday, causing floods and a few landslides and leaving more than a dozen fishermen missing.

Additional reporting by Mimi Lau