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Typhoon Hagupit could hit land today
By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-24 07:08

GUANGZHOU -- The Guangdong meteorological authority Tuesday issued a Level I emergency warning for Typhoon Hagupit in response to forecasts it is about to hit the southern province.

Hagupit, the 14th typhoon of the year, will gain strength as it moves toward the coast of Guangdong and may make landfall between the city of Yangjiang and Xuwen county before noon today, Xue Dengzhi, a forecaster with the provincial weather bureau, said.

As of 2 pm yesterday, the eye of the typhoon was located about 530 km out to sea and was gale force 15, he said.

Hagupit will be the second typhoon to hit Taiwan, Fujian and Guangdong in the past week, after Sinlaku lashed the region last Tuesday.

"Government departments should stay alert to Hagupit as it may strengthen into a super typhoon," Xue said.

Prior to the storm's arrival, heavy rain hit most cities in the Pearl River Delta region yesterday afternoon.

Hagupit is expected to move northwest to Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region after making landfall, Xue said.

Three teams from State and provincial flood and drought control offices have been sent to Hainan, Guangxi and Guangdong to prepare for possible natural disasters triggered by the typhoon.

Affected by the approach of Hagupit, shipping activities in the Qiongzhou Strait between Guangdong and Hainan provinces were suspended at noon yesterday.

Train services between the two provinces were also halted, the Guangzhou Railway Group Corp said.