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Typhoon “Talim” makes landfall in China, weakens to tropical storm before hitting Vietnam

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On Monday, July 17, 2023, Typhoon “Talim” — the fourth named storm of the 2023 Pacific typhoon season and the first to make landfall in China — prompted the evacuation of 39 236 fishing vessels and over 36 600 fishermen in Hainan, South China. The typhoon, which initially made landfall in Guangdong Province on the same day, led to a renewed Orange alert by China’s national observatory due to anticipated gales and heavy rainfall.

Talim caused significant disruption in China’s southern coastal regions, leading to widespread evacuation and the suspension of various public services. Local authorities reported on July 17, that in Hainan, an island province in South China, more than 36 600 fishermen and a total of 39 236 fishing vessels were evacuated.

In Guangdong Province, almost 230 000 people were safely evacuated by 17:00 LT on the same day as the province braced for the typhoon. An order for the closure of 68 coastal tourist destinations was issued, and 2 702 fishing vessels were called back. Additionally, 8 262 fish-farming workers were evacuated ashore.

According to the National Meteorological Center (NMC), Talim made its first landfall in Guangdong Province on Monday night (LT) with maximum sustained winds of around 120 km/h (75 mph).

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Tropical Cyclone “Talim” at 08:40 UTC on July 17, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, ZoomEarth, The Watchers

The typhoon made its second landfall at 21:45 UTC on July 17 (05:45 LT on Tuesday, July 18) in Beihai, Guangxi with maximum wind speeds of 90 km/h (56 mph) and reached Qinzhou city at 09:00 LT.

In response to the anticipated storm, public transit, school activities, and outdoor construction work were suspended in Fangchenggang and Beihai cities.

Nationwide, transport services were significantly affected. For example, in the city of Nanning, the national railway suspended 69 passenger trains, while 12 others were shifted to alternative routes. In Hainan, high-speed trains and flights were suspended over safety concerns, and ferry services to and from the island were halted since Sunday.

As the storm moved over land, it caused considerable damage, including flooding, felled trees, and damaged signboards, before weakening to a tropical storm. Social media videos depicted pedestrians struggling against the winds and flooded roads.

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Typhoon Talim then made its third landfall along Vietnam’s border with China and weakened into a tropical depression around 16:00 local time on July 18, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF). It is expected to continue to impact the northeastern and north-central regions with widespread rainfall of 100 – 200 mm (3.93 – 7.87 inches), with some areas experiencing over 300 mm (11.81 inches).

The northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai have been alerted for heavy rainfall that could lead to urban flooding and a high risk of flash floods and landslides. NCHMF Director Mai Van Khiem warned of an expected water level rise of 3 to 5 m (9.84 to 16.4 feet) in the upper areas of rivers and streams in the northern region and Thanh Hoa province and 2 to 4 m (6.56 to 13.12 feet) in the lower areas in the next two days.

In the capital city of Hanoi, residents were warned of strong winds, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and potential lightning. The rainfall is expected to reach 80 – 150 mm (3.15 – 5.9 inches), with some areas exceeding 200 mm (7.87 inches) on August 18, posing a risk of flooding. Rainfall is forecasted to decrease to 10 – 20 mm (0.39 – 0.78 inches) in the subsequent days.

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Tropical Cyclone “Talim” at 09:40 UTC on July 17, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, ZoomEarth, The Watchers

References:

1 Thousands evacuated as typhoon Talim nears south China’s Hainan – Xinhua – July 17, 2023

2 China deploys rescue forces as Typhoon Talim approaches – Xinhua – July 17, 2023

3 Typhoon Talim makes landfall in China’s Guangdong – Xinhua – July 18, 2023

4 Typhoon Talim makes second landfall in China – Xinhua – July 18, 2023

5 Typhoon Talim leaves behind crushed vehicles, beached whale in southern China – Reuters – July 18, 2023

6 Storm Talim weakens into tropical depression, downpours expected in northern region –
Vietnam+ – July 18, 2023

7 Classes are canceled and public transport is halted as Typhoon Talim slams into southern China – AP – July 18, 2023

Featured image: Tropical Cyclone “Talim” at 08:40 UTC on July 17, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, ZoomEarth, The Watchers

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