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Passenger Trains Suspended as Typhoon Megi Approaches

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Railway authorities have temporarily stopped passenger train services into and out of China's southernmost island province of Hainan, as it braces for typhoon Megi.

All trains setting off from Sanya, the provincial terminal for transprovincial trains, to other provinces from Oct. 19 to 21 have been canceled, while trains heading from other provinces to Sanya will stop at Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, which is to the north of Hainan.

During the suspension, passengers traveling into or out of the island can take coaches or choose other transport, said a spokesman for Haikou railway station.

Trains and coaches must take ferries to get on and off the island. Local authorities said ferry services for other transport were not yet influenced by the typhoon's approach.

Megi, which is set to be the 13th and possibly the strongest typhoon to hit China this year, is expected to make landfall in Hainan or Guangdong Province around Saturday.

Southern provinces like Hainan, Guangdong, and Fujian are gearing up for heavy rains and strong winds.

Authorities in Hainan, which was battered by heavy rains and floods earlier this month, had prepared 120 rescue vehicles and 78 inflatable boats, according to the provincial arm of the People's Armed Police.

All provincial roads and national highways that were cut by previous mud-flows had been reopened to traffic, said Hainan Traffic Police.

(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2010)

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