BEIJING Oct 18 Typhoon Sarika lashed China's
Hainan province on Tuesday, with torrential rain and winds of up
to 162 kilometres per hour (100 mph) forcing authorities on the
southern island to shut schools and halt transport services.
Rail services were suspended on Monday and 250 flights were
cancelled at the provincial capital Haikou's international
airport, state news agency Xinhua said.
The provincial meteorological bureau expects losses from the
typhoon to be "grave" as the storm was expected to be "the most
powerful and destructive to land in Hainan in a decade", Xinhua
More than 13,700 residents in low-lying areas or unsafe
houses have been evacuated, the news agency said.
Schools were shut in eight counties and tourist sites were
closed to the public, it said.
Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up
strength as they cross warm Pacific waters and bringing fierce
winds and rain when they reach land.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)