2008-06-26 01:14:13 GMT 2008-06-26 09:14:13 (Beijing Time) China Daily
Pedestrians brave strong winds and rains in front of an advertisement billboard at the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong June 25, 2008. Tropical storm Fengshen struck Southeast China coast on Wednesday, bringing driving rain, uprooting trees and closing schools and businesses. [Agencies]
Tropical storm Fengshen brought more rain and misery to southern China on Wednesday, throwing life out of gear in the economic hubs of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Fengshen, downgraded from a typhoon after killing hundreds of people in the Philippines, hit Shenzhen, Guangdong province, early Wednesday morning.
But before that it struck Hong Kong, uprooting trees, pulling down bamboo scaffoldings and causing a heavy downpour.
The storm caused rainfall in many parts of southern and some parts of eastern China. Though it hit Jiangxi province too, Guangdong bore the brunt of its assault.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region closed all schools and colleges for the day. And markets, including the stock exchange, opened only after the city's highest storm alert was lowered.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority said 139 incoming and outgoing flights had been delayed or canceled in the morning.
Public transport companies resumed services around noon, and flash floods and landslides were reported from many areas.
Shenzhen, too, ordered all middle and primary schools closed. By 5 pm, rainstorms had delayed 121 flights and forced the cancellation of another 14 in the city.
Shipping activities at the Fuyong Dock were suspended too.
The level of floodwater in the Shenzhen-Guangzhou section of the No 107 National Highway was so high that it had to be closed.
The Guangdong provincial authorities had issued advance warning to fishing boats and other vessels not to venture out in the sea. As a result, more than 13,000 vessels returned to harbor before the storm struck.
Although no casualties were reported in Shenzhen, one sailor was injured and another was missing after the two fell into the sea when their container ship made an emergency mooring off Shanwei city, less than 200 km east of Shenzhen, around 4 am.
Shenzhen's meteorological station forecast that city could receive up to 200 mm rain in two days.
The storm moved in the northeasterly direction after tearing through Shenzhen, causing heavy rain in other cities on the route.
Fengshen, meaning "wind god" in Chinese, is likely to move northward before it loses strength, the Guangdong meteorological station said.
It will bring torrential rain across a wide swathe of southern and eastern China, including Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, Xinhua, quoting meteorological sources, said.
Rainstorms and floods in the heavily industrialized south have claimed 63 lives this year, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Thirteen people are still missing and 1.6 million have been displaced.