"Eastern Hawaii" - this is what they say about Hainan, an island with the ever-warm South China Sea, a gentle climate and unique nature. This province, perfectly adapted for recreation, was not in vain chosen by Russian tourists. The ratio of service, price and comfort here is very pleasant. Arriving now on a Chinese island, it is hard to imagine that a powerful typhoon ruled here in 2016. Hainan did not suffer much destruction. They managed to reduce them as much as possible thanks to measures taken by public services.
On October 16, local weather forecasters announced that typhoon Sarika would be the most powerful of the season. It was expected that the typhoon, which attacked the Philippines on the weekend, would hit Vietnam the next day, and the northern Chinese provinces would also be affected. Provincial Meteorological Bureau Chief Cai Qinbo said cyclone losses are expected to be serious, as the typhoon is projected to be the most powerful and destructive for the island in the last decade.
The first strike of “Sariki” followed by the transition to a real typhoon Hainan expected early in the morning in the southeast, between the cities of Qinghai and Sanya. The authorities reacted very quickly and in all seriousness began preparations for the impending elements.
But people did not just wait for a hurricane to hit Hainan Island. Typhoon "Sarika" forced the provincial authorities to hold an emergency meeting and quickly develop the necessary measures. I must say that the work was carried out quickly and professionally. Kindergartens, schools and tourist organizations of eight counties closed, and residents and tourists were warned of the danger, access to the beaches was prohibited. High-speed trains connecting cities in Hainan were suspended on the night of October 17-18. On the 17th, five flights were canceled at the main Meilan international airport in Haikou, and terminal employees were preparing for large-scale cancellation of another 250 flights.
The provincial governing bodies conducted an emergency safety audit of the reservoir system, power sources and water supply. Workers in the fishing and agricultural sectors were warned and additional safety measures were taken. A ban was issued on access to the sea of ships. In the neighboring province of Guangdong, the fisheries department took all fishing vessels from the surrounding waters of Hainan Island to the berth.
Six shelters were urgently arranged on the island, where about half a million families of fishermen, builders from the coast and residents of low-lying areas were evacuated. Residents of Yongxin Island south of Hainan, which was supposed to be the first facility on the cyclone route, were also urgently evacuated. About 8,000 tourists were transported from Weizhou Island on Monday, before the disaster. A total of 1,370,000 people were evacuated.
By the time they reported about severe floods and the deaths of 25 people in Vietnam, which covered the hurricane "Sarika", the Hainan island was ready to meet the typhoon fully equipped.
Storm winds and heavy rains began on Monday the 17th. This caused an accident on one of Hainan's main highways, where a bus carrying 45 passengers rolled over.
On Tuesday, October 18, at 9:50 a.m., a typhoon burst into Hainan with a powerful wind at a speed of 130 km per hour and gusts of up to 160 km. The first "Sariku" was met by the tourist city of Vanning, which is 139 km from the capital and from where 137,000 residents were evacuated the day before. Here a storm uprooted massive trees. Chinese flood control services also reported six-meter waves and winds of about 100 km per hour flying into Guangdong.
Many areas of the island were de-energized due to broken wires, demolished roofs, and felled trees. Wireless communications of 8,000 base stations disorganized by bad weather began to fail.
But typhoon Hainan caused special damage not by the winds, but by pouring heavy rains on the island. By noon on the 18th, the precipitation level reached 203 mm, and during the day exceeded 300 mm. Water flooded 62 settlements and covered 15 thousand hectares of fields. In the vicinity of Qinghai, the river overflowed, flooding roads and cutting off traffic. In some counties and rural areas, showers have resulted in landslides and mud flows. In addition to this, severe pollution of drinking water was recorded on Tuesday.
The direct economic damage caused by typhoon Hainan amounted to 570 million yuan ($ 85 million). Fortunately, there were no human casualties. The department of liquidation of consequences of the hurricane distributed over areas especially affected by the elements, tents, blankets, food, and drinking water.
The main damage was done to agriculture, roads were destroyed, residential houses in the lowlands were flooded, sometimes whole villages. On the morning of the 18th, in a settlement near Vanning, 31 cows were electrocuted. The wires of the high-voltage line passing over the barn where animals were locked were torn off by the wind. The owner of the farm with other villagers was evacuated on Monday evening.
There are no traces of a typhoon in Hainan now. The island quickly recovered from the disaster. Restored plantations and scenic spots with unique vegetation. The tourism industry is impeccably tuned, so East Hawaii hotels are still ready to welcome guests.