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Fujian province braces for typhoon soulik

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-13 08:24

Fujian province is bracing for a direct smack from typhoon Soulik on Saturday, according to typhoon experts, as the violent tropical storm rumbled through Taiwan on Friday night.

Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces will feel the brunt of the typhoon on Friday night or Saturday morning, experts said.

Soulik arrives as torrential downpours have created dangerous mudslides and flooding across China, with the number of dead and missing surpassing 100.

"Soulik is moving toward waters east of Taiwan and is expected to directly land in Fujian on Friday night or Saturday morning at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour," said Qian Chuanhai, a typhoon expert at the China Meteorological Administration

It is still not known if Soulik will bring extreme rains, said typhoon scientist Duan Yihong. Temperatures in Jiangxi, Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces will reach up to 39 C before the typhoon hits, according to the National Meteorological Center.

On Friday, a number of meteorological, disaster and forecasting centers issued high alerts. China uses a four-tier weather warning system, with red representing the highest alert, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The National Meteorological Center issued an orange typhoon alert, warning local authorities to implement emergency response measures, including asking ships to return to port and close offshore entertainment facilities.

The National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center issued a red wave alert, this year's first. It expects waves of up to 11 meters in height in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a national disaster warning, requiring local civil affairs bureaus to prepare for the typhoon.

"Soulik is quite a strong typhoon and local authorities and residents need to pay high attention to it," Qian said.

In Quanzhou, Fujian province, ships traveling between Quanzhou and Taiwan's offshore county, Jinmen, have been suspended since Friday morning. The shipping channel may be reopened after the typhoon alert is downgraded, local authorities said.

Fearing the impact of Soulik, the Nanchang rail bureau suspended sales of tickets for 44 Saturday bullet trains passing through Fujian province.

Authorities in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, asked local fishermen to sail back to ports and strengthen their ships. According to the National Meteorological Center, rainfalls before July 21 will be common in most parts of the country, which does not bode well for flood-hit Sichuan.

Wang Qian

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