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10 still missing as typhoon Morakot nears
Updated: 2009-08-09 10:03

10 still missing as typhoon Morakot nears
A street is flooded due to heavy rainfall brought by typhoon Morakot in Linbian Township in Pingtung County of east China's Taiwan, August 8, 2009. [Xinhua]

BEIJING: East China is bracing for typhoon Morakot's approach after it slammed into Taiwan Friday night.

Weather forecasters said late Saturday Morakot was likely to land on the coast from Cangnan, Zhejiang province, to Xiapu, neighboring Fujian province, between 8 am and 10 am Sunday.

Although the typhoon this year is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before it arrives in the Chinese mainland, it was packing winds of 137 kilometers an hour at 7 am Saturday and churning northwestwards at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers an hour.

It has already unleashed torrential rain in Fujian where, at five sites, water levels have been recorded at 0.02 to 0.66 meters above warning levels.

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The earlier tropical storm Goni has also wreaked havoc in South China Sea, leaving as many as 156 fishermen and crew members from Cambodia, Vietnam and China missing at once.

Chinese maritime authorities had rescued 146 by 6 pm and the remaining 10 from China were still missing.

Preparation in Fujian

More than 480,000 people in Fujian have been evacuated and its Zherong County received more than 300 mm of precipitation on Saturday afternoon.

In Luoyuan county of Fuzhou city, Fujian's capital, people stayed at home during the weekend and roads were almost empty.

Fewer sellers appeared in the county's vegetable market.

"The fields were flooded," said Li Sailian, a vegetable seller.

"Strong winds broke the ropes tying down the horsebeans, and the crown daisies (chrysanthemum greens) were destroyed," she said.

10 still missing as typhoon Morakot nears
Fishing boats moor at a port as Typhoon Morakot approaches, in Jinjiang, east China's Fujian Province, August 8, 2009. [Xinhua]

Li brought all her available stock to the market, fearing the storm would destroy it completely.

In downtown Fuzhou, where several big trees have already been toppled by gale-force winds, people were rushing to supermarkets for necessities before the typhoon arrived.

All flights from Saturday noon onwards at the airport in Fuzhou were cancelled, leaving more than 120 passengers stranded. Airport staff were helping with refunds.

Seventeen of the 312 flights to and from the airport in coastal Xiamen city were cancelled, most of which were heading to Anhui, Guangdong and Taiwan.

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