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Typhoon Haima weakens to tropical storm after China landfall

By Andrew V. Pestano
Typhoon Haima weakens to tropical storm after China landfall
Haima, once a super typhoon that has been downgraded to a tropical storm that is seen in the top left portion of this satellite image, made landfall in southeastern China on Friday after killing at least 13 people in the Philippines. Image courtesy of NOAA

BEIJING, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The Hong Kong Observatory weather agency said Typhoon Haima made landfall in southeastern China on Friday and weakened into a tropical storm after causing the deaths of at least 13 people in the Philippines.

The eye of Haima made landfall in eastern Guangdong, about 100 miles east of Hong Kong, with wind strengths equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.

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Tropical Storm Haima was moving north at a speed of 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 67 mph. AccuWeather reported Haima should weaken into a tropical rainstorm by Saturday as it shifts movement northeast -- increasing the threat of flash flooding and damaging winds from Hong Kong to Shanghai.

The South China Morning Post reported Haima tore down trees, disrupted traffic and left some hospitalized after making landfall in China. No deaths have been reported. China's Airport Authority said at least 742 flights have been canceled due to Haima -- leaving hundreds stranded.

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Trading in Hong Kong's stock market was halted Friday and classes in the city's schools were suspended.

Haima, called Lawin by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, arrived to the Philippines earlier this week -- damaging tens of thousands of homes -- just days after the country took a beating from Typhoon Sarika.

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Thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas before the storm hit, and some authorities were trying to send emergency personnel out to start clearing roads and take stock of the damage from the second storm to hit the nation in a week.

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Forecasters said Haima was almost as strong as Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed more than 6,000 people.

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