Typhoon Usagi shuts down China travel

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Over 400 flights have been affected in China due to Typhoon Usagi, which brought sustained winds of 175 kph (109 mph) and gusts up to 214 kph (132 mph) when it made landfall on Sunday evening in southern China. It was reported by Hong Kong International Airport that 370 flights were canceled plus 64 flights were delayed. Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair, canceled flights beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. The two large airlines expect to resume flights on Monday, depending on weather conditions and damages sustained from the super typhoon.

In addition, Xinhua reported that 148 flights were cancelled by Air China between Hong Kong, Macau, and other mainland China cities nearby. All flights to and from Hong Kong as well as three mainland airports were also cancelled by China Southern Airlines.

There were many airline passengers who had planned to return home after spending a long weekend in Hong Kong for their mid-autumn festival, but with schedules suspended, these travelers are now stranded.

Ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau were also cancelled, and more than 8,000 fishing boats were ordered to return to port. Shipping services were also suspended between mainland China and Taiwan.

A landslide had caused rail service to be temporarily suspended, however, by Sunday the rail line was able to resume service. The hot springs resort village of Chihpen also experienced a landslide forcing guests to be evacuated due to mud and rocks crashing to the ground floor. The Chihpen River flooded the main street of the village, tossing rocks that damaged cars on what was once the road.

As Typhoon Usagi neared the Daya Bay nuclear power station in Guangdong, authorities ordered the implementation of their emergency response plan, which included the order that four of the six reactors operate at a reduced load.

Usagi is the most powerful typhoon so far this year, and it killed at least two people in the Philippines and injured nine in Taiwan before making its way to China. This super typhoon has caused shipping lanes to be shut down and a nuclear power plant is on alert as well after it made a sudden turn from Hong Kong.

Super Typhoon Usagi made landfall in the Chinese province of Guangdong near Shanwei city and was moving in a west-northwest direction at 22 kph (14 mph).

Shanwei Police reported that 1,200 residents have been evacuated to emergency shelters, and 3,300 people were moved in Taiwan.