Warnings Sounded as Typhoons Near
Chinadaily, Aug 24th, 2012
China's national meteorological authority on Thursday issued a warning about Tembin, the 14th typhoon of the year, as it approaches the southeastern part of Taiwan.
The violent cyclone intensified to become a strong typhoon at 7 am on Thursday, 310 km northeast of the island, and is veering closer at 5 to 10 km per hour, said the China Meteorological Administration on its website.
Tembin is likely to make landfall in southeast Taiwan or skirt by its fringes between Thursday night and Friday morning, bringing gales and heavy rain to the cross-Straits area over the next 24 hours, according to the CMA.
Northwestern Taiwan will be hit hardest as precipitation is expected to reach 100 to 300 mm, while coastal parts of the mainland provinces, including Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Hainan will see rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Strong winds are also expected in the cross-Straits area.
Meanwhile, Bolaven, the 15th tropical storm of the year, was located over the northwest Pacific Ocean at 5 am on Thursday, 1,800 km southeast of China's coastal Zhejiang province, heading northwest at 15 to 20 km/h while causing winds of up to 136.8 km/h.
Bolaven will not reach the southeast coast of China in the coming two days, the CMA said.
As of Wednesday, this storm season has seen 15 typhoons form in the northwest Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, six of which made landfall in China, more than twice as many as the previous year.
"Rarely throughout history have so many strong typhoons hit the country within a month," Zhang Chang'an, chief forecaster of the CMA said on Thursday. He added that, against the backdrop of global warming, more extreme weather events are likely to occur.
The typhoons have claimed at least 51 lives and left 21 missing in 12 provinces and regions as of Aug 13, statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs showed.
Chen Lei, minister of water resources, said on Wednesday that the unusual ferocity and frequency of typhoons this year "poses severe challenges" to the country's flood control capacity.
He said that if the storms are expected to cause large-scale damage, businesses and schools should be closed to avoid injuries and deaths.
Nearly 2,000 people have already been evacuated in Taiwan because of safety concerns about potential mudslides brought by Tembin in Ilan and Hualien. About 50,000 soldiers are on standby to assist the evacuation.
In nearby Fujian province, an emergency alert was launched on Thursday to warn of the two typhoons.
Safety concerns prompted the Fujian provincial department of ocean and fisheries to order fishing vessels to anchor in harbors before 3 pm on Thursday.
Although Bolaven is about 1,840 km southeast of the province, the joint impact of the two storms could cause severe stormy weather that will last for about eight days in Fujian province, the local meteorological station said.
Cheng Rongkai, vice-governor of Fujian province and general director of the Fujian Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, said the two typhoons were strengthening as they moved toward the country's eastern coast.
Gulangyu, a popular tourist destination in Xiamen, remained open on Thursday afternoon, but is prepared to shut down when the emergency alert level is upgraded.
The operation of the passenger liner Haixia, which links Fujian province's Pingtan and Taiwan's Taichung, has been suspended due to safety concerns.
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