Typhoon slams into southern China
A powerful typhoon has arrived in southern China after skirting Hong Kong and bringing death and destruction to the Philippines earlier this week.
Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the eastern tip of China's Hainan Island, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Hainan authorities closed schools, suspended ferry services and recalled fishing boats as the storm made its way across the South China Sea from the Philippines, where the storm killed 35 people and left 45 missing. Some 67 flights were cancelled on the island's two airports, Xinhua said.
The storm swept past Hong Kong earlier in the day, forcing the stock market to suspend trading and shuttering shops and businesses but causing little damage. The Asian financial centre's normally bustling streets were eerily quiet, with few people venturing outside to brave the rain and fierce winds.
Two people were injured when bamboo scaffolding was blown over and collapsed on a taxi, while a man was injured by a falling tree, local broadcaster RTHK said. A barge ripped free from its moorings in the rough seas and slammed into a sea wall on Hong Kong Island, forcing some nearby apartments to be evacuated, news reports said.
Local broadcaster Cable TV showed footage of tour groups from mainland China who were stranded after cross-border ferry services were suspended. At Hong Kong's airport, 245 flights were delayed, 20 were cancelled and 22 diverted to other airports.
The storm came within 220 miles of Hong Kong in the morning before moving away, the Hong Kong Observatory said.
Ferry services in Hainan were halted and the province prepared for possible flooding and mudslides, the Hainan Meteorological Bureau reported.
The National Meteorological Centre reported that fishing boats were in port and schools along the coast had been shut in advance of the typhoon, which is the 17th and likely to be the strongest to hit Hainan this year.
Nesat left devastation in the Philippines, triggering some of the worst flooding in central Manila in decades. Floodwaters were receding in most places, but many low-lying communities in the north remained in crisis.