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August 9, 2009

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Shanghai on first typhoon alert

SHANGHAI yesterday issued its first typhoon alert of the year and warned residents to prepare for the effects of typhoon Morakot.

At 2pm yesterday, Morakot was 700 kilometers from the city, above the Taiwan Strait and heading north with a speed of 10 to 15 kilometers per hour, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The bureau at 5pm issued a yellow typhoon alert, the second in the four-level system.

Although the power of Morakot is weakening and it is expected to be a tropical storm when it hits Shanghai, it will still result in heavy wind storms.

Winds are estimated to reach 74 kilometers per hour in downtown and 117 kilometers per hour in coastal areas. The city will be soaked by showers at about 90 millimeters per hour, which may rise to 150 millimeters per hour in some southern areas.

The bureau warned it could issue an orange or even red storm alert during the peak period today and tomorrow.

"Actually the typhoon is already affecting the city," Han Chang, chief service officer of the bureau said yesterday. "The clouds are very heavy with wide gaps which are caused by typhoon."

The bureau advised residents to remove items on sills and close windows during storm peaks to prevent accidents.

Han blamed yesterday's stuffy weather on the typhoon, saying temperatures will range from 26 degrees Celsius to a high of 30 degrees on Tuesday and rise further on Wednesday.

The power of Morakot is expected to fade on Tuesday when it will head north to Jiangsu Province.

Meanwhile, the fifth tide of the flood season is also affecting the city. Huangpu River water levels rose for the sixth consecutive day yesterday, exceeding the warning line.


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