Typhoon Koppu made landfall in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong at around 23:00 UTC on September 14, 2009 (07:00 local time on September 15) as a Category 1 typhoon with maximum sustained winds of around 78 mph (126 kmph). Koppu came ashore near the coastal city of Taishan (population of around 1 million people), bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain to the region. Although some minor flooding occurred in some areas, officials said no major damage was reported.
Rainfall of up to 150 millimeters (6 inches) hit many towns and cities in Guangdong Province, with flooding reported in some low-lying areas. Trees were also downed and around 58 people sustained minor injuries. China’s State Disaster Relief Commission issued an alert for several provinces and autonomous regions that included Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi. In Fujian Province, officials warned of gales and heavy rainfall in the coastal cities of Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Longyan.
Hong Kong was hit by tropical storm-force winds, prompting the authorities to issue alerts that forced financial markets to close early. Officials said five districts were flooded in the city and around 100 homes were damaged. Elsewhere, more than 50,000 boats were told to return to harbor while more than 100 workers were evacuated from an offshore gas and oil field near Hainan Island. Shipping services across the Hainan Strait were also suspended.
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Koppu weakened after making landfall and the storm is expected to pass through Yangjiang and Maoming in Guangdong and enter Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Hainan Province. Officials said residents in Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces would also be hit by heavy rain before Koppu dissipates within the next 12 hours.
Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, WSI, Xinhua News Agency, scmp.com, Asia in Focus, Reuters News
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