Typhoon and Special Olympics under watch

By Sun Xiaohua and Wang Lan (China Daily/chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2007-10-06 09:22

Tropical storm Krosa developed into a strong typhoon in the western Pacific on Thursday as it moved northwest at 15 km per hour and is forecast to come closest to Shanghai from October 7 to 8, according to a report from the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

Torrential rainfall and strong winds are forecast to hit Shanghai and China's eastern and southern coastal provinces, including Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang in the coming days.

The strongest gale force winds in Shanghai's downtown area are forecast to reach a scale of 7 to 8.

Shanghai will also be subject to heavy rainfall along with a noticeable fall in temperatures from October 7 to 9.

The heavy rainfall and gales may have an impact on the Special Olympics, which will end on October 11.

The organizing committee of the Games has decided to change the competition schedule for some events, and some other competition events are also subject to changes according to the weather conditions.

At a national press conference on Friday, CMA Director Zheng Guoguang emphasized that meteorologists must make preparations for disaster prevention from rain and high winds following Krosa, especially providing full services to the Special Olympic Games in Shanghai.

"We will keep the organizer of the Special Olympics closely informed of the weather situation," a spokesperson of the Shanghai Meteorological Center told China Daily on Friday.

CMA also warned tourists who plan to visit scenic sites in Zhejiang and Fujian during the holidays to adjust their schedules according to weather conditions.

Meteorologists said that it is rare to witness a typhoon make landfall on China's southeastern coast in October.

Zheng said the CMA will send experts to Zhejiang and Fujian provinces in East China, which are projected to be most affected by Krosa, to guide local meteorologists and keep a close eye on the typhoon's track.

In addition, meteorologists were tasked with increased weather observation and forecasts on a cold front in the northern region and a forest fire in the Lesser Hinggan Mountains.

"Meteorological administrations of all levels should overcome the inconvenience brought by the week-long holidays, stay on high alert on weather observations and send timely weather information to the public," Zheng said.

Many parts of northern China can expect rain and snow due to a cold front from the remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the CMA said.

In Taiwan, disaster authorities said the storm shut down schools and businesses in the north of the island.

"The wind is tremendous here, and we've lost power," said Chuang Min-hsiang, of Taitung. "We're all at home doing work to protect ourselves from the typhoon."

Three people were hurt in Taiwan.

A service staff member at Taipei's Kaohsiung airport said more than 10 international flights were cancelled on Saturday. EVA Airways, No. 2 carrier, cancelled most of its afternoon flights, according to TV reports.

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