China issues warnings as powerful typhoon bears down on its east coast

As waves pounded the coast in Zhejiang Province yesterday, soldiers began making preparations for Typhoon Muifa. As waves pounded the coast in Zhejiang Province yesterday, soldiers began making preparations for Typhoon Muifa. (China Daily/Reuters)
Associated Press / August 6, 2011

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BEIJING - China warned residents and alerted emergency relief centers yesterday to prepare for a powerful typhoon that was heading toward China’s heavily populated eastern coast.

Typhoon Muifa is forecast to hit China late today or early tomorrow close to Shanghai, a commercial hub with a population of 23 million. Residents were warned to take precautions to prevent injuries and losses, the website of the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

More than 9,000 fishing vessels were called back to ports in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces while officials in charge of disaster relief centers in the region were told to get ready to dispense their materials, said the official Xinhua News Agency.

Zhejiang’s flood headquarters told authorities in coastal areas to prepare for evacuations, Xinhua said.

Shanghai’s two airports expect major flight delays, and numerous cultural activities were called off for the weekend, including a beach music festival, Shanghai’s news portal said.

An emergency message from the US government to Americans living or traveling in East China suggested they “stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, and cash in case of storm-related power outages.’’

Typhoon Muifa caused power outages and injuries as it passed by Japan’s southern island of Okinawa yesterday and dusted northern Taiwan with light rain and moderate winds.

China’s Central Meteorological Administration issued its highest alert yet this year on the storm, which was packing winds of 102 miles per hour. It said the storm likely would intensify as it neared China’s coast.

China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned Muifa could churn up 36 foot high waves in the East China Sea and 16 foot waves off the coast.

Shanghai rail authorities planned inspections of local high-speed rail networks and warned that some services could be halted or delayed depending on the storm’s severity, Xinhua said. top stories on Twitter

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