Typhoon Nesat, the strongest to hit China this year, forced the evacuation of 300,000 people, grounded flights and closed markets as it swept past Hong Kong, slammed into the Chinese island of Hainan and headed to Vietnam.
The typhoon, which killed at least 39 people in the Philippines earlier this week, made landfall in Hainan province at 2:30 p.m. local time yesterday with winds as fast as 151 kilometers (94 miles) an hour, the China Meteorological Administration said. In Hong Kong, the storm felled trees, ripped bamboo scaffolding from buildings and forced the city’s stock exchange to halt trading after the highest storm warning in two years was issued, Bloomberg reported.
Gale force winds and torrential rains lashed Hainan as provincial authorities rushed to move residents out of areas judged dangerous, ordered ships back to port and halted flights and high-speed rail services. Moving west, the typhoon may reach the coast of Vietnam by tomorrow, where four people were killed and 5,000 hectares of farmland flooded earlier this week by Tropical Storm Haitang.
Hong Kong’s No. 8 storm warning was reduced to a strong wind signal at 5 p.m. local time with Nesat 450 kilometers (280 miles) away, according to the city’s observatory. A total of 25 people sought medical treatment at Hong Kong public hospitals during the passage of the typhoon, the government said.