China issues top warning for strong typhoon nearing coast

A Taiwanese man holds an umbrella against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A Taiwanese man holds an umbrella against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Two Taiwanese women make their way against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A Taiwanese man holds an umbrella against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

BEIJING — China issued its top warning for coastal areas of Zhejiang province Friday ahead of a strong typhoon expected to bring heavy rain and winds within hours.

Heavy rain was expected in Zhejiang, Shanghai and nearby provinces on Friday before Typhoon Lekima hits land on Saturday morning, then weakens as it moves north.

Parts of northern Taiwan closed offices and suspended classes at schools on Friday as the storm passed northeast of the island. The same area was hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake Thursday that caused minor damage but no deaths or injuries.

The red alert China issued is the most serious in its four-tired alert system, prompting authorities to prepare evacuations, suspend train and air travel and require vessels to return to port. In Zhejiang, ferry service had been cancelled and more than 200 tourists evacuated from popular Beiji island.

The National Meteorological Center said Lekima was gusting at 209 kph (130 mph) and traveling northwesterly at 13 kph (8 mph).

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Wednesday issued a circular to seven provinces including Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shanghai Municipality, telling authorities to prepare to be prepared and have emergency response systems in place to be deployed.

The typhoon is also expected to trigger an intense storm surge in the estuary of the Yangzte River, China's mightiest, beginning Friday. Three main streams of the Yangzte River are likely to exceed alert levels and the commission overseeing the river for the Ministry of Water Resources has ordered efforts to prevent floods and oversaturation of levees along the river's banks.

Must Read

Tesla's Autopilot system under scrutiny in fatal...

Sep 15, 2016

Tesla faces new scrutiny in China about its vehicle Autopilot system after state television...

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

China plans 30,000-km high speed rail network by...

Dec 29, 2016

The Chinese government is planning to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000...

Asia shares falter as investors watch dollar,...

Jan 6, 2017

Asian shares are wavering as a weaker dollar discourages investors who are shying away from risky...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

Sign up now!

Advertisement