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East China on guard as typhoon Morakot approaches

EAST China is on guard as typhoon Morakot approaches after slamming into Taiwan last night.

Morakot is likely to land again in the coastal province between this evening and tonight, the Fujian provincial meteorological station said.

Although the typhoon was weakening after a landfall in Taiwan, it still packed winds of 137 kilometers per hour at 7am today and churning northwestwards at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour.

It unleashed torrential rains in Fujian, where in five sites the water levels were recorded 0.02 to 0.66 meters above warning levels.

In adjacent Zhejiang Province, rainfall exceeded 50 millimeters on 6.8 percent of the province's land by last night, with the highest at 110 millimeters in Cangnan County which borders Fujian.

Nearly 300,000 residents and tourists in dangerous areas were evacuated, and the province called back 29,987 ships to harbor.

More than 50,000 soldiers were prepared for emergencies in Zhejiang, said the local government.

Morakot, which means "emerald" in Thai, is the eighth storm to hit China this year. It landed in Hualien of Taiwan at 11:45pm yesterday, turning over cars and cutting power supplies. Two people were killed and four others were missing.


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