Strong tropical storm Jebi landed in south China's Hainan Province on Friday evening, bringing intense rain and strong gales that have grounded flights and halted maritime traffic.


The ninth tropical storm to hit China this year, Jebi made landfall in Longlou Township, Wenchang City, at 7:30 p.m., packing winds of up to 117 km per hour near its center, meteorological authorities said.


Affected by the storm, many parts of the island province reported heavy rain on Friday, including Haikou, capital of Hainan, where many city roads were badly waterlogged.


In hard-hit Longlou Township, strong winds felled trees and knocked down billboards. Many roadside stores were closed and few pedestrians were seen on the streets.


"It was just like pouring water outside. The trees were shaking wildly, and motorbikes parked at the roadside were all blown down," said Huang Liangjin, a security guard at a restaurant in Longlou.


The storm has forced operations to cease on the island's high-speed railway, and shipping services on the Qiongzhou Strait, which connects Hainan and Guangdong provinces on the mainland, were also halted Thursday.


More than 6,000 passengers were stranded in Sanya Phoenix International Airport in the tourist city of Sanya, with over 110 flights scheduled to take off or land at the airport canceled as of 4 p.m.


All of the island's 26,900 fishing vessels have returned to port out of safety concerns, marine officials said.




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