Southeast China braces for typhoon Saomai

from Xinhua
Published on 09 Aug 2006
FUJIAN, Aug 9, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Southeast China is bracing for an onslaught from typhoon Saomai, the eighth storm to hit China this year, said local officials.
In Fujian Province, already hit by storms Bilis and Kaemi, all 10,286 ships and 35,282 fishermen had returned to harbor by 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Outdoor activities in all 26,800 schools in the province were suspended by order of the local government.

A forecast from the Fujian Provincial Observatory said the typhoon would bring heavy rains and gales to Fujian over the next couple of days. Experts estimate that rainfall could reach 250 millimeters. Local officials have warned people to be on the alert.

In adjacent Zhejiang Province, 13,625 people had been evacuated to safer places by 5 p.m. Wednesday, and 5,638 ships had sought shelter in ports.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Saomai was located at latitude 24.2 north and longitude 127.7 east, 830 kilometers from Fuding City in Fujian. It is packing winds of 162 kilometers per hour and heading westward at a speed of 15 km to 20 km per hour.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Bopha was located at latitude 22.7 north and longitude 119.7 east. It is closing in on south China's Guangdong Province. The two storms are influencing each other.

Experts with the China Meteorological Administration predicted Saomai would make shore in central Zhejiang or northern Fujian Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.