China issues red alert for Typhoon Saola with multiple regions postponing classes, suspending transport
Published: Aug 31, 2023 10:18 PM Updated: Aug 31, 2023 10:16 PM
Fishing boats return to the port for shelter in East China’s Zhejiang Province on August 31, 2023. Photo: VCG

Fishing boats return to the port for shelter in East China’s Zhejiang Province on August 31, 2023. Photo: VCG

China’s National Meteorological Center continued to issue a red alert on Thursday, the most serious level of its four-tier warning system, as Saola, the ninth typhoon of this year, is predicted to bring heavy rainfall and gales to coastal regions in the country. Multiple regions have postponed the first day of school and suspended production and public transport. 

Saola is expected to move northwest at a speed of about 10 kilometers per hour and gradually approach the coastal regions of South China’s Guangdong Province. It is forecast to make landfall in the coastal areas of Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday, according to the National Meteorological Center.

Along with Saola, Typhoon Haikui is forecast to move from west to north at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour, gradually approaching the coastal regions of East China and gradually increasing in intensity, said a notice released by the national meteorological authorities at 10 am on Thursday. Meanwhile, another typhoon, Kirogi, was also seen approaching from the northwestern Pacific Ocean at 8 am on Thursday.

Given the typhoon situation, multiple regions have taken precautions including postponing the first day of school and suspending production, business and transportation to mitigate the potential risks.

In Shenzhen, Guangdong, all primary and secondary schools and kindergartens delayed the first day of the new semester from Friday to Monday, September 4. Starting from 12 pm on Friday, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport suspended all inbound and outbound flights due to the impact of Typhoon Saola. 

Shenzhen upgraded the typhoon warning level to yellow on Thursday night. Guangdong’s provincial flood, drought and typhoon control headquarters raised its emergency response to Level I at 6 pm on Thursday.

In East China’s Fujian Province, some passenger ferry services including the ferry services under the “mini three links” have been suspended due to the typhoon impact.

All schools including primary and secondary schools and kindergartens in the HKSAR will be suspended on Friday due to Typhoon Saola, according to media reports. The observatory in the HKSAR will issue a gale or storm signal No. 8 on Friday as local weather is expected to deteriorate significantly.

Due to the impact of the typhoon, the railway authorities said on Thursday that a total of 121 passenger trains are scheduled to suspend services from Thursday to September 6. 

China’s Ministry of Natural Resources revised its emergency response to Level-II for marine disasters on Thursday morning. The National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center also reminded all ships to be cautious and avoid risks.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has dispatched working groups to Fujian and Guangdong to guide relevant work for typhoon prevention.