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Warnings Issued As Kaemi Approaches
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Typhoon Kaemi, this year's fifth typhoon, is expected to hit southeast China on Wednesday, the Central Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau said that at 8 am yesterday the typhoon was 890 kilometers southeast of Hualian in Taiwan Province with maximum winds reaching Level 13 (40 meters per second) near the center.

The Fujian Meteorological Bureau estimates Kaemi will hit the province's middle and northern coast on Tuesday night or Wednesday, bringing torrential rain.

The bureau has called for emergency preparations to be made ahead of possible mountain torrents, flooding, landslides and mud-rock flows triggered by the rain.

It also warned ships to return to harbour and coastal fish farms to take precautionary measures.

The typhoon is moving northeast at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour and approaching Taiwan Province's eastern coast.

And while Kaemi closes in, the death toll of tropical storm Bilis has risen to 530 across the nation with more fatalities being confirmed, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Premier Wen Jiabao inspected storm-ravaged areas in central China's Hunan Province on Saturday, and urged local officials to ensure timely reconstruction as well as preparing the area for similar disasters.

"The top task is to take good care of the affected people to ensure they have adequate food, clothing, shelters, clean water and medical care," Wen said in Hunan, the worst-hit province, where 346 people have been confirmed dead and 89 others are still missing.

"Meanwhile, production must be restored and homes rebuilt as soon as possible," he added.

Floods and landslides have claimed 106 lives in South China's Guangdong Province and 77 others are still missing, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

Bilis has affected more than 7.41 million residents, with damage totalling 13.5 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) in the coastal province.

Disasters triggered by Bilis have also killed 35 people in the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where four others are still missing and 499,000 residents have been forced to evacuate.

In Fujian Province, 43 people were killed in the tropical storm, which landed on the province on July 14th and then moved inland, triggering deadly disasters.

More than 20 million people were affected and economic losses reached 11.8 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion), said the Ministry of Civil Affairs last week.

(China Daily July 24, 2006)


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