STRONG typhoon winds have caused a huge cargo ship to snap in half amid fears 27 of its crew members are dead.
Authorities have launched a rescue mission to find the missing crew after the ship sank off Hong Kong as Tropical Storm Chaba hit.
Planes and helicopters were dispatched to assist in the rescue, with at least three of the 30-strong crew evacuated to safety as of 5:30 p.m. (10:30 GMT) on Saturday.
Photos released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service showed a crew member being winched up to a rescue helicopter as large waves lashed the sinking ships, which broke in two.
The accident happened about 186 miles south of Hong Kong.
The flight service gave neither the name nor the origin of the ship.
A statement said crew members were experiencing negotiation difficulties caused by severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which had maximum winds of 68mph.
The storm made landfall in the western part of coastal Guangdong Province later on Saturday.
The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters for the rescue effort.
Gao Shuanzhu, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, said the typhoon is expected to bring heavy rain but will lose strength over time.
Gao said, “The abundant monsoon water vapor will lead to intense downpours and huge cumulative rainfall of extreme kinds,” forecasting up to 24 inches of cumulative rainfall in some areas.
At risk are western Guangdong, where China’s typhoons usually linger, eastern Guangxi Autonomous Region and the island province of Hainan, where rainstorms have caused landslides, urban waterlogging and flooding, Gao said.
Hainan raised its emergency measures to Level II, the second-highest, on Saturday.
It suspended rail services across the island and canceled more than 400 flights to and from the cities of Haikou and Sanya.
In Macau, one person was injured by wind and rain as he approached Chaba, state television reported.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5688362/massive-cargo-ship-snaps-typhoon-winds-feared-dead/ Massive cargo ship crashes into TWO typhoon winds leaving 27 feared dead after frantic helicopter rescue mission