China has issued a red alert and closed down offices, businesses and schools in the southern city of Shenzhen as Typhoon Haima is expected to hit on Friday, local officials said. Shenzhen’s Meteorological Observatory predicted that Haima will bring winds of up to 117 km per hour and rainfall exceeding 100 millimetres.
Residents have been advised to stay indoors and safe locations across the city have been set up for anyone who may get caught out. Shenzhen in Guangdong Province will activate China’s highest level of emergency response measures starting midnight to prepare for the country’s 22nd typhoon this year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported late on Thursday.
Red alert is the highest response followed by orange, yellow and blue. Haima has already disrupted rail services in Guangdong, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangxi. No trains between Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong will run on Friday, according to Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corp.
A total of 85 trains, mainly plying the Jiangxi and Fujian route, have been ordered to stop services till tomorrow, Nanchang Railway Bureau of Jiangxi said. Railway authorities in Guangxi also cancelled 20 trains to major cities in Guangdong over the past two days. In addition, Shenzhen airport cancelled 76 flights in the last two days.
Haima was about 590 kms southeast of Shenzhen at 4 pm on Thursday. The Guandong flood control authorities predicted that the typhoon will wreck havoc and cause grave losses, as its power is similar to typhoon Usagi that killed scores of people in Guangdong in 2013.