China sounds highest alert over typhoon, evacuates 3.28 lakh
China today evacuated 3.28 lakh people from its southeastern coastal region and sounded the highest alert for approaching Typhoon Fitow, the 23rd storm to hit the country this year.
The authorities also recalled over 65,000 fishing vessels.
A red alert, the highest against typhoon, was sounded, warning strong tides and waves to be created by the typhoon.
The National Meteorological Centre said the typhoon was expected to make landfall late today or early tomorrow somewhere between Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
It is expected to raise waves as high as 10 meters in the south of the East China Sea and waters around the Diaoyu Island.
Local authorities were asked to reinforce harbour facilities and repair sea walls to prepare for the tides.
So far maritime authorities in Fujian have 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.
Also officials in Zhejiang evacuated 2.2 lakh 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, cancelled 27 flights today, including flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Kunming, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Coach services between Shanghai and Wenzhou were also suspended today.