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Red alerts as Fitow closes in

Updated: 2013-10-06 23:10
By Shan Juan ( China Daily)

Typhoon expected to make landfall in Fujian or Zhejiang provinces

Red alerts for storm tides and high waves were issued by maritime authorities on Sunday, as coastal areas braced for Typhoon Fitow.

The 23rd typhoon to hit China this year is forecast to make landfall in Fujian or Zhejiang provinces on Monday morning, the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center said.

Red alerts as Fitow closes in

Soldiers check coastal defenses on Sunday as Typhoon Fitow bears down on Wenling, Zhejiang province. Maritime authorities have issued red alerts, the highest warning, for storm surges as Fitow is forecast to make landfall in Fujian or Zhejiang provinces early on Monday. [PHOTO BY JIA CE / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Waves as high as 10 meters are expected in the East China Sea.

The center of Fitow was about 590 km southeast of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province on Saturday night, and is set to hit coastal areas at speeds up to 18 km per hour, forecasters said.

Fishermen were urged to return to port and authorities were asked to reinforce harbor facilities and repair sea walls to prepare for tidal surges, Xinhua reported.

Coastal tourist sites will be closed until further notice.

China uses a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

In Shanghai, gusts and torrential rain were expected to peak on Sunday night, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Flood control authorities have issued warnings over water levels on the Huangpu River and city officials have called for precautionary measures to be implemented, local media reported.

The Shanghai Railway Bureau has suspended ticket sales for Monday from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Wenzhou in Zhejiang, and Fuzhou and Xiamen in Fujian.

China Eastern Airlines canceled two flights on Saturday between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Okinawa in Japan, and more flight cancellations may be necessary.

A fireworks display planned for Sunday night at Century Park in Pudong New Area has been put off until Tuesday, according to the Shanghai Tourism Administration.

Bullet train services in several cities in Zhejiang province were suspended and Wenzhou Airport canceled 27 flights on Sunday, including flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Kunming.

Coach services linking Shanghai and Wenzhou were also shut down.

Heavy rain began to hit Zhejiang province on Sunday.

More than 200,000 people had been evacuated to safe places in Wenzhou, Taizhou, Ningbo, and Zhoushan by Sunday morning and 35,000 vessels had returned to port.

Meanwhile, dams and wave barriers were being inspected and fortified.

For disaster relief operations, 5,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army have been ordered to be on standby.

In Fujian, maritime authorities evacuated 128,000 fishermen to safety and called back nearly 30,000 fishing vessels by Sunday afternoon, Xinhua reported. Authorities also closed coastal entertainment facilities.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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