August 22, 2008

South China Province on Highest Alert As Typhoon Approaches

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

GUANGZHOU, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) - South China's Guangdong Province on Friday initiated a Class-I response to Typhoon Nuri, the 12th tropical storm this year.

The provincial observatory said the eye of the storm was in the South China Sea about 180 km from Shenzhen as of 8 a.m. on Friday, packing strong winds.

Typhoon Nuri was moving northwest at 15 to 20 km per hour and was expected to hit the coast between Shanwei and Yangjiang in Guangdong between Friday afternoon and night, said the observatory.

It warned that it was highly possible the storm would make a head- on strike at the economic hub of the Pearl River Delta, where the cities of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Macao are clustered.

Government departments were told to prepare for the typhoon's landfall.

The observatory also put two wind-monitoring vehicles on the coast close to the Pearl River estuary to observe wind speeds, rainfall and destructive strength when the storm makes landfall and to provide good information for disaster relief workers to act upon.

The province issued a red alert for maritime users on Thursday as Typhoon Nuri approached, according to local flood control headquarters.

Force 12 winds, torrential rain and geological hazards were expected when the typhoon landed, a headquarters spokesman said.

As of Thursday evening, 45,374 vessels and 159,332 people had been recalled to harbours in the province. Another 87,000 people were evacuated.

The Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday night issued an urgent notice ordering fishery and agricultural departments in Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guangdong to keep the public informed and help fishing vessels avoid risk.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0626 22 Aug 08.

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