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Typhoon Utor lands in China

Beijing, Aug 14 (): Typhoon Utor is the strongest tropical cyclone to form so far across the globe for the year 2013. The storm has pushed into south-east China on Wednesday.

Typhoon Utor struck the Philippines as a Category 3 storm early on Monday morning (August 12, 2013), leaving behind at least two dead. After leaving a path of destruction in the Philippines, the typhoon has struck the south coast of China on Wednesday and also forcing airlines to cancel flights and halting stock exchange trading in the financial centre of Hong Kong.

Forecasters say south-east China can expect heavy rain, flash floods, potential mudslides, and gusty winds. China has been affected with drought, flooding, and a major heat wave this past year, and Typhoon Utor is expected to create more weather-related problems.

Schools and offices were closed and tens of thousands of fishing craft took shelter on Wednesday as a typhoon brought high winds and torrential rains to southern China.

The observatory said Utor was heading toward the western coast of Guangdong in south-west China. The typhoon is predicted to make landfall on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, as per reports given by China’s state news agency Xinhua.

Utor, which is packing winds of 155 kilometres per hour near its centre, was heading towards the coast of Guangdong province in southeast China at 16 kmh.

Waves as high as 11 metres (36 feet) were expected in the north of the South China Sea from Tuesday night into Wednesday, Xinhua reported, with disaster prevention teams requested for the Guangdong area.

In Hong Kong, gusts of more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour were recorded, with rain lashing down, as the Hong Kong Observatory hoisted a “Number 8″ storm warning in the early hours — the third highest level.

The government has opened 17 temporary shelters and one 26-year-old woman was taken to hospital as a result of the storm, according to the city’s hospital authority, which said her condition was stable but had no further details.

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