September 28, 2008

Warnings Issued As Typhoon Jangmi Approaches Eastern China

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

[Xinhua: "Recast:1st Ld: Warnings Issued as Typhoon Jangmi Approaches Eastern China"]

Fuzhou/Hangzhou, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) - The eastern China provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang issued warnings on Sunday as typhoon Jangmi approaches.

Jangmi, the 15th and strongest typhoon of this year, was about 135 km southeast of Taiwan's Hualien at 11 a.m..

It has hurricane force winds of 216 km per hour, the Zhejiang provincial meteorological bureau said.

It said the typhoon would hit Taiwan on Sunday evening and should weaken before approaching Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.

Upon landfall, Zhejiang Province could experience winds of up to 136 km per hour. Heavy rain is forecast for the coastal regions in southern and eastern Zhejiang.

Flood control headquarters told governments at lower elevations to evacuate people and recall vessels back to harbour.

Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait, has recalled more than 50,000 ships and evacuated more than 267,000 people working on the sea.

Local authorities sent text messages to more than 9 million mobile subscribers warning them of the storm.

"I've been here for four years. Typhoon attacks almost every year," said Chen Chao, a mechanic with the Xiamen branch of the armed police force.

Chen and his 150 colleagues prepared 300 life jackets, tents, rafts and other relief materials for emergencies at sea.

Rough water was already a problem on Saturday. Chinese rescuers saved 37 sailors aboard two foreign-registered vessels that encountered mechanical failure during strong winds off the coast of southern Guangdong Province.

Jangmi is coming on the heels of Hagupit, the 14th strong typhoon of this year which landed in the southern Guangdong Province last Wednesday.

Hagupit left China on Thursday and moved into Vietnam, after killing 17 people in the southern city of Yangjiang alone.

In Vietnam, landslides and flooding caused by Hagupit claimed more than 20 lives.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0831 28 Sep 08.

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