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China ups warnings as Typhoon Fitow nears

2013-10-06 20:33 Xinhua Web Editor: Wang YuXia

China's maritime authorities on Sunday issued red alerts, the highest warning, for storm tides and waves as Typhoon Fitow approached land.

Fitow, the 23rd typhoon to hit China this year, is forecast to make landfall between east China's Fujian and Zhejiang provinces early on Monday, said the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center.

A red alert for storm tides comes as water levels on the coast of Fujian and Zhejiang are expected to increase by 2 meters.

The typhoon is expected to raise waves as high as 10 meters in the south of the East China Sea and waters around the Diaoyu Island.

The forecasting center urged fishermen to return to port. Local authorities were asked to reinforce harbor facilities and repair sea walls to prepare for the tides.

As of Sunday afternoon, maritime authorities in Fujian Province had evacuated 128,000 fishery workers and called back nearly 30,000 fishing vessels.

The Fujian provincial meteorological bureau said Fitow was 360 km from its coastal city Fuding at midday, and was approaching at 15 to 20 km per hour.

Meanwhile, authorities in Zhejiang evacuated 202,000 people and recalled 35,000 vessels as 28 meters per second gales swept the province.

The typhoon caused suspension of bullet trains in several cities in Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi and halted services on at least 35 lines that pass cities on the typhoon route, including services between Beijing and Nanjing, Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou and Xiamen.

Wenzhou Airport, a pivotal airport in Zhejiang Province, canceled 27 flights Sunday, including flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Kunming.

Coach services between Shanghai and Wenzhou were also suspended on Sunday. Maritime authorities in Fujian and Zhejiang have closed seaside bathing centers and other entertainment facilities on the coast.

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

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