pdated: September 29, 2011 7:20 am ET
HONG KONG (AP) — A powerful typhoon arrived in southern China on Thursday after skirting Hong Kong and bringing death and widespread flooding to the Philippines earlier this week.
Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the eastern tip of China’s Hainan island at 2:30 p.m., the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Hainan authorities closed schools, suspended ferry services and recalled fishing boats as the storm made its way across the South China Sea from the Philippines, where it killed 35 people and left another 45 missing.
Some 67 flights were canceled at the island’s two airports, Xinhua said.
The storm swept past Hong Kong earlier in the day, forcing the stock market to suspend trading and shops and businesses to close but causing little damage. The Asian financial center’s normally bustling streets were eerily quiet, with few people venturing outside to brave the rain and fierce winds.
Two people were injured when bamboo scaffolding was blown over and collapsed onto a taxi, while a man was injured by a falling tree, local broadcaster RTHK said. A barge ripped free from its moorings in the rough seas slammed into a seawall on Hong Kong Island, forcing some nearby apartments to be evacuated, news reports said.
Local broadcaster Cable TV showed footage of tour groups from mainland China who were stranded after cross-border ferry services were suspended. At Hong Kong’s airport, 245 flights were delayed, 20 were canceled and 22 diverted to other airports.
The storm came within 220 miles (350 kilometers) of Hong Kong in the morning before moving away, the Hong Kong Observatory said. It lowered its gale-force wind warning by late afternoon.
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