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Typhoon Talim Sideswipes Hong Kong, Slams into Southern China

Published: July 17, 2023
Big waves hit the beach as typhoon Talim passes the city on July 17, 2023 in Hong Kong, China. The Hong Kong Observatory issued a typhoon warning early Monday morning, which reached a signal No. 8 strength. (Image: Sawayasu Tsuji/Getty Images)

On July 17, schools and the stock exchange were closed in Hong Kong as Typhoon Talim sideswiped the city before it headed towards the Chinese mainland and the island province of Hainan. 

The storm forced more than 100 people in the city to seek refuge in temporary shelters, ferry services were halted and various events were postponed. At least 16 flights were canceled in the region. 

The fourth typhoon of the year, Talim made landfall in Zhanjiang city in Guangdong province, with winds at its center reaching a top speed of 136.8 kph (85 mph), according to the Guangdong weather bureau. 

The typhoon is not officially considered severe as wind speeds have not exceeded 150 kph or 93.2 mph at its center.

The storm is expected to move into the Guangxi region early on July 18 as it meanders through the region at around 20 kph.

Authorities in Guangdong and Hainan were urged by the national forecaster to be on standby to respond to the typhoon. 

People watch big waves at a sea shore as Typhoon Talim approaches in Boao, in China’s southern Hainan province on July 17, 2023. (Image: NS/AFP via Getty Images)

Oil platform evacuated

The storm hit an oil platform about 200 kilometers (125 miles) off the coast of Hong Kong, prompting the evacuation of some 9,800 workers from the platform and other similar facilities, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported. It’s unclear if any damage was sustained. 

Early on Monday, the Hong Kong Observatory raised a No. 8 typhoon signal, the third-highest warning possible and the first warning of its kind this year, before downgrading it as the storm moved away.  

China’s National Meteorological Administration is expecting Tamil to make landfall in Guangdong province on Monday night before making its way to the Gulf of Tonkin and making landfall again in the Guangxi region by Tuesday.

Talim will weaken on Wednesday before it hits Vietnam, the administration said. However, authorities in Vietnam are preparing to evacuate upwards of 30,000 people from Quang Ninh and Hai Phong provinces, which is where authorities expect the typhoon to make landfall in Vietnam. 

So far, in Hong Kong, damage due to the storm has been limited to downed trees. The government has received 32 reports of fallen trees and two reports of flooding. 


People walk near Victoria Harbour as Typhoon Talim passes near Hong Kong on July 17, 2023. (Image: ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Flight cancellations  

A total of 43 inbound and 36 outbound flights from the Zhuhai Jinwan Airport in Guangdong were canceled on Monday due to the typhoon and at the Meilan International Airport in Hainan’s capital of Haikou all flights were canceled, state media reported. 

The storm prompted authorities to suspend all suburban trains on Hainan and the city also canceled classes, work, and park and business activities beginning at noon on Monday. 

Residents were told to stay at home while authorities erected emergency shelters. 

North of Guangdong, in the province of Fujian, local authorities declared a rainstorm emergency with significant rainfall expected for most of the area’s counties and cities. 

Within three hours on Monday, several cities in southeastern Fujian and eastern Jiangsu received between 200-300 mm (7.87-11.81 inches) of rainfall, the Chinese meteorological center said.