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East China braces for severe tropical storm
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East China is bracing for the arrival of severe tropical storm Fengshen, which is forecast to make a possible landfall in the coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong on Wednesday.

The Fujian provincial meteorological observatory issued a warning at 6:33 AM on Tuesday, saying strong winds would hit the southern coastal area and the Taiwan Strait in the next 24 hours.

Vessels should return to harbor, it warned.

Fengshen was moving through the northeast South China Sea, around 470 kilometers south of Shantou City, Guangdong, at 5 AM on Tuesday, according to the China Central Meteorological Station.

The storm, with winds of up to 108 km per hour, was forecast to move north at a speed of 15 km per hour, the station said.

The storm had been downgraded from a typhoon and was likely to land in the coastal areas between Shanwei in Guangdong and Zhangpu in Fujian during the day on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain, it added.

Guangdong's flood control headquarters implemented its typhoon emergency response plan late on Monday. It ordered ships return to harbor and the evacuation of marine fish farms and in low-lying coastal areas.

The Philippines Red Cross and disaster relief authorities announced on Sunday that at least 229 people had been killed and 700 were missing after Typhoon Fengshen ripped through the archipelago on Friday afternoon.

(Xinhua News Agency June 24, 2008)

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