FORTY-NINE tourists stranded on an island off the coast of south China’s Guangdong Province have been picked up and taken to safety as Typhoon Talas approaches, authorities said yesterday.
The tourists belonged to four camping groups that had been stranded on Nanpeng Island some 35 kilometers east of Yangjiang on the mainland, the Ministry of Transport said. The island is normally uninhabited.
Yesterday morning, all of the tourists had been taken to safety after a ship and a helicopter had been sent by the Guangzhou-headquartered Nanhai Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport.
China’s national observatory renewed a blue alert for Typhoon Talas yesterday morning. It passed by the southern island province of Hainan and hit Beibu Gulf.
Yesterday morning, the eye of Talas was above the South China Sea some 60 kilometers to the southwest of Sanya in Hainan, packing winds of up to 23 meters per second, the National Meteorological Center said.
The center forecast that Talas would move northwest at a speed of about 20 kilometers per hour toward Beibu Gulf and make landfall on the northeast coast of Vietnam this morning.
From yesterday afternoon to later today, parts of the South China Sea, Beibu Gulf, Qiongzhou Strait, Hainan and coastal areas of Guangdong and Guangxi are set to experience strong winds.
Storms with up to 140 millimeters of precipitation are expected to affect parts of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.
The center suggested local governments take precautions against possible geological disasters, and ships in affected areas should go return to port.
Along the coast of Guangdong, 22,901 fishing boats were moored while 39,425 people working at sea farms had returned to shore on Saturday.
Passenger ships across the Qiongzhou Strait, between Hainan and Guangdong, were halted.
China has a four-tier color system for severe weather, with red the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.