As typhoon Morakot gains momentum and churns toward China"s mainland, provinces in coastal regions are busy bracing for its impact.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, the typhoon was located at 23.3 degrees north and 126.7 degrees east, about 780 kilometers away from Wenzhou, a major city in Zhejiang Province, meteorological authorities said. It was expected to land in the eastern Zhejiang or Fujian provinces between Saturday noon and Sunday morning.
In Zhejiang province 2,076 ships had returned to harbor by 3 p.m. while passenger liner services in Wenzhou and Taizhou cities were suspended.
Soldiers help fishermen go to safe zone in the rain in Taizhou City, east China"s Zhejiang Province, Aug. 6, 2009. It is predicted that the typhoon Morakot will land off the seashore in east China"s Zhejiang Province and southeast China"s Fujian Province from Saturday noon to Sunday morning.
More than 900 Chinese and foreign tourists have been evacuated from from the resort Nanji Island, and measures taken in scenic areas near the coast to assist tourists.
Seventeen teams comprising 138 soldiers are preparing for emergencies, and working with local officials to ascertain potentially hazardous areas. In adjacent Fujian province, nearly 8.4 million short messages had been sent to mobile phone users by 5:30 p.m., warning them to prepare for the typhoon.
Provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters ordered fishing boats and construction vessels to seek shelter in harbors before 6 p.m. Thursday.
Soldiers help fishermen transport cases of fish in Putian City of southeast China"s Fujian Province, Aug. 6, 2009.
As of 6 p.m., more than 1,200 vessels had returned to harbors and 5,242 people had been evacuated in Fujian"s Ningde, Putian and Fuzhou. Sea waves as high as six meters battered fish farms.
Weather forecasters said the most severe typhoon this year would push sea waves in the coastal areas to up to nine meters high when it approaches.
Fishing vessels are seen in the Shenjiamen Port to avoid typhoon in Zhoushan City, east China"s Zhejiang Province, Aug. 6, 2009.
Local authorities have warned the public to pay attention to weather forecasts and be aware of the rainstorms and other typhoon-related disasters.
More than 180 policemen are on duty in Quanzhou city, helping those in danger areas to evacuate.
Morakot, which strengthened into typhoon Wednesday afternoon, is also expected to whip up gales in Shanghai from Saturday to Monday. Meteorological stations in the city have cautioned relevant departments to brace for emergencies.
Experts in Guangdong Province say although the typhoon won"t land there its impact could be great. Bilis, a 2006 typhoon landed in Fujian but tens of thousands of people in Guangdong were affected.
Soldiers help fishermen strengthen rafts in Wenzhou City, east China"s Zhejiang Province, Aug. 6, 2009.
The experts considered Morakot might have a big influence in the eastern part of Guangdong, and soak the province in torrential rains.
The eighth tropical storm this year, Morakot was formed on the heels of Goni, which unleashed downpours in Guangdong destroying 732 houses.
"The two storms could influence each other," said Wang Zhenming, vice head of the Zhejiang provincial meteorological station. "As a result, the route of Morakot is not fully predictable." 更多信息请访问：http://www.24en.com/
He warned Morakot was likely to continue growing in strength and become a super typhoon.
China is frequently affected by tropical storms in summer. The most destructive one recently occurred in 2006, when super typhoon Saomai claimed more than 400 lives.