The eighth tropical storm this year, Morakot, has gained momentum as it churns toward Taiwan island and the Chinese mainland. Coastal regions are busy bracing for its impact.
Meteorological authorities say Typhoon Morakot is expected to land in Eastern Fujian and Zhejiang Provinces around noon on Saturday, bringing winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour. Heavy downpours, vicious gusts, and possible flooding will also be unleashed.
The National Committee For Disaster Reduction, and related sectors, have initiated a level-four emergency plan. They also allocated task forces to the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Anhui.
Meanwhile, the South China Sea Marine Prediction Center has upgraded its sea wave warning to code red and storm warning to code orange.
Local flood control and drought relief headquarters says about 34,000 vessels were called back to port and more than 21,000 people in the cities of Ningde, Putian, and Fuzhou have been relocated to safety.
In Taiwan, the local meteorological bureau reports that Typhoon Morakot has reached the eastern and northern coasts of the island.
The mountainous city of Jiayi has experienced the heaviest rainfall -- more than 1,200 millimeters.
Meanwhile, trains were rescheduled, flights have been canceled, and schools and businesses were advised not to open in Taiwan.
Flight Passenger said, "I'm going to Tibet tomorrow. If the flight is canceled then I won't make it to Shanghai today. I'm going to try my luck at Taoyuan Airport."
China is frequently affected by summer tropical storms. Super Typhoon Saomai was the most destructive as it claimed more than 400 lives in 2006.
(CCTV August 8, 2009)