More than 865,000 people in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang have been evacuated as super Typhoon Chan-Hom, the second typhoon to hit China in two days, approaches.
A total of 28,764 ships had been recalled to port as of 10 p.m., Friday, and several cities were already reporting heavy rain and strong gales, the provincial flood, typhoon and drought headquarters said.
The National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a red alert, the highest level, on Friday morning for the super typhoon.
At 11 p.m., the typhoon's center was 235 kilometers southeast of Zhejiang in the East China Sea. It is moving northwestward at a speed of 20 km per hour. It is due to make landfall somewhere between Rui'an and Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province between Friday night and Saturday noon.
When the typhoon hits land, the wind speed at the center of the typhoon is expected to top 58 meters per second.
The NMC said Chan-Hom could be the strongest typhoon to land in Zhejiang since 1949.
The storm has disrupted traffic, and direct-shipping routes to Taiwan from Zhejiang have been suspended since Thursday. About 100 flights were canceled Friday and some long-distance bus and train services have been suspended.
The typhoon has brought rain and strong gales to Zhejiang's coastal areas. Waves as tall as 10 m were observed in the sea off the coast.
"The typhoon seems very powerful. We have sealed all our windows and doors and have stocked up on food," said Liu Yimin, from the coastal village of Huagang. ' Meanwhile, all of the Wenzhou City government's 53,000 flood control staff will be on stand-by over the weekend.
The Fujian provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters ordered all residents of coastal fishing farms in Ningde, Fuzhou, Pingtan and Putian to evacuate by 10 a.m. Friday.
Shanghai also issued a typhoon alert on Friday, warning of gales starting Friday afternoon and heavy rain on Saturday. Residents have been relocated and outdoor group activities have be canceled.
Typhoon Linfa made landfall on Thursday in the southern province of Guangdong, bringing torrential rain to the coast. No casualties have been reported.
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