The meteorological station of Fujian Province in southeast China said Thursday that super typhoon Sepat might land in Fujian on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, bringing strong winds and torrential rains.
The station said in its latest forecast that winds caused by Sepat along the coast would gain strength on Friday evening and speeds might exceed 117 km per hour on Saturday and Sunday, while rain might reach coastal areas on Saturday.
Sepat was moving northwestward at 15 km per hour toward Taiwan and was expected to hit land early Saturday, before crossing the Taiwan Strait to Fujian, according to the Fujian meteorological station.
Seas could be up to seven meters in the Taiwan Strait on Friday evening and up to nine meters on Saturday and Sunday, according to the Fujian meteorological station.
The Fujian provincial headquarters of flood control has ordered all the people who might be affected to relocate to safety before Sepat lands, and vessels should return to ports and maritime workers to land before 8:00 AM on Saturday.
Schools, highways, shops and entertainment venues in coastal cities should be closed when the typhoon hits, the headquarters ordered.
Sepat, which formed early on Monday east of Luzon island in the Philippines, became a super typhoon at around 8:00 PM on Wednesday.
The eye of the typhoon was 730 kilometers southeast of Taiwan, packing winds of up to 234 km per hour, at 2:00 PM on Thursday, according to the Fujian meteorological station.
Sepat, named after a Malaysian freshwater fish, is the ninth tropical storm to hit the region.
The meteorological bureau of east China's Zhejiang Province has issued a severe weather warning as Sepat approaches eastern China.
Residents in the coastal areas of the province have been told to prepare for heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday.
The maritime authorities in Zhejiang on Thursday inspected 1,587 ships in harbors and sent more than 10,000 warning messages to all vessels. More than 300 people were standby for possible marine accidents.
South China's Guangdong Province is also closely monitoring the progress of Sepat and recalling vessels to harbor. Local authorities were told to discharge water in reservoirs to accommodate incoming rain.
(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2007)