By Xinhua | CRI
Coastal areas in southeast China are bracing for approaching typhoons Saola and Damrey, relocating tens of thousands of fishermen and ordering ships back to harbor before the storms hit.
Typhoon Saola, the ninth typhoon of the year, is expected to make its second landfall in coastal areas between the city of Putian in Fujian Province and Yuhuan county in Zhejiang Province between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the Fujian Provincial Meteorological Station said.
Saola made its first landfall at 3 a.m. Thursday in Hualien, Taiwan, bringing heavy rains to the island and forcing most schools and offices to close on Thursday. Saola is expected to move northwest at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour and generate heavy rains in coastal areas in Fujian and Zhejiang. Fujian issued a level two emergency response for Typhoon Saola at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, a total of 59,337 fishermen and maritime workers in Fujian had been relocated to safety, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said. A shipping route linking the cities of Xiamen in Fujian and Kinmen in Taiwan was closed Thursday, according to officers at an entry-exit checkpoint in Xiamen.
At 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Zhejiang Provincial Meteorological Station upgraded its yellow alert for Typhoon Saola to an orange alert, the second highest warning level in China’s four-tier weather warning system. Typhoon Saola is expected to land coastal regions in east and north Zhejiang on Friday morning and bring torrential rains.
Meanwhile, Typhoon Damrey is expected to make landfall in east China’s Shandong and Jiangsu provinces from Thursday afternoon to evening. The Shandong Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters launched a level two emergency response to Typhoon Damrey on Thursday morning.
Gales and heavy rains brought by the typhoon are expected to hit southern Shandong province, according to the provincial meteorological station.
The station issued a red alert for Typhoon Damrey Thursday afternoon suggested the local government make full preparations for typhoon prevention and disaster relief, cancel school classes, suspend businesses, relocate people to safe places and strengthen vulnerable constructions.
It also warned of possible torrential floods and other geological disasters brought about by heavy rains. In neighboring Jiangsu Province, 6,992 ships had been ordered to return to port as of 2 p.m. Thursday. About 50,100 people have been relocated, the Jiangsu provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.
The Shanghai Meteorological Station said the city will likely be hit by both typhoons at once, with heavy winds, rain and thunderstorms expected to last from Thursday to Friday night.