East China emergency agencies were preparing last night for super typhoon Sepat, which struck Taiwan and was expected to cross the straits and slam into Fujian Province this weekend.
Late yesterday the typhoon was packing winds up to 184 kilometers per hour and attcked eastern Taiwan with heavy rain and winds.
The typhoon is 500 kilometers wide, covering an area even larger than Taiwan and putting the entire island in great danger, the Taiwan weather bureau said.
Disaster response centers were established across the island. Some areas suspended school classes and outdoor activities.
Emergency officials warned that rainstorms might lead to problems with water supply and suggested the public store water.
Some trains and flights were canceled. Vegetable prices rose, resulting in a buying rush. Local governments warned farmers of possible losses from the typhoon.
Sepat, which formed early Monday east of Luzon in the Philippines, became a super typhoon at around 8 pm on Wednesday. Named after a Malaysian freshwater fish, it is the ninth tropical storm to hit the region this year.
The storm could land in Fujian on the Chinese mainland late today or early tomorrow, bringing strong winds and torrential rain.
South China's Guangdong Province and east China's Zhejiang Province were also closely monitoring the progress of Sepat and calling vessels back to harbor.
Shanghai is expected to have a cool and wet weekend, under the influence of Sepat's outer reaches.
(Shanghai Daily August 18, 2007)