Forecasters are warning of record rainfall and high disaster risk in provinces such as Guangdong, the country’s most populous.

China’s first typhoon of the year has brought gales and rain to its southern coasts, as forecasters warn of record rainfall and high disaster risk in provinces such as the country’s most populous Guangdong. .

Typhoon Chaba, the Thai name for the hibiscus flower, was moving northwest at 15-20 km (10-15 miles) per hour after the eye of the storm made landfall in the city of Maoming in Guangdong on Saturday afternoon, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement. .

Chaba, although medium in intensity and expected to lose strength over time, is likely to bring extremely heavy rains and could break the record for cumulative rainfall by pulling the monsoon rain belt in the region eastward. inland, said Gao Shuanzhu, the center’s chief forecaster.

“Abundant monsoon water vapor will bring intense downpours and huge cumulative rainfall of an extreme nature,” Gao said, predicting up to 600mm (24 inches) of cumulative rainfall in some areas.

Western Guangdong, where Chinese typhoons usually linger, eastern Guangxi Autonomous Region and the island province of Hainan are at risk, with torrential rains causing landslides, urban waterlogging and flooding , Gao said.

Hainan upgraded its emergency response to Level II, the second highest, on Saturday. It suspended rail service across the island and canceled more than 400 flights to and from the cities of Haikou and Sanya.

In Macau, one person was injured due to wind and rain as they approached Chaba, state television reported.

In recent weeks, historic rainfall and flooding in southern China has destroyed property, paralyzed traffic and disrupted daily life for millions of people in one of the country’s most populous and economically key regions.

Severe weather, including unusually heavy flooding, is expected to continue in China through August, forecasters predicted this week, with climate change partly to blame.

Dozens missing in Hong Kong

More than two dozen crew members are missing after an engineering vessel with 30 people on board broke in two on Saturday in the South China Sea, officials said.

Three crew members were rescued as operations to locate missing crew members continued about 300 km (200 miles) southwest of Hong Kong.

The engineering vessel with 30 people on board broke in two during a typhoon in the South China Sea [Handout/Government Flying Service/AFP]

The three survivors were found at 3 p.m. local time (0700 GMT) and taken to hospital for treatment, the Hong Kong Government Flying Service said.

Dramatic footage provided by Hong Kong authorities showed a person being airlifted on a helicopter as waves crashed onto the deck of the semi-submerged vessel below.

Other crew members may have been swept away by the waves before the first helicopter arrived, according to a government statement.

Hong Kong authorities issued the typhoon alert on Thursday just as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the city to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his transfer from Britain to China.

Hong Kong rescuers were notified of the incident at 07:25 local time (2325 GMT Friday) and found the vessel near the center of Chaba, where harsh weather conditions and nearby wind farms made the operation “more difficult and dangerous”.

The location of the ship recorded wind speeds of 144 km/h (90 mph) and waves 10 meters (33 feet) high, authorities said.

The Government Flying Service conducted two fixed-wing aircraft sorties and four helicopter sorties, with mainland Chinese authorities also dispatching a rescue boat.

Rescuers said they would widen the search area “due to the large number of missing people” and extend the operation into the night if conditions allowed.